Marcela Gomez lived in constant fear in Colombia before ending up in Sherbrooke five years ago. She had to go on the run for a year and a half after her daughter’s father denounced the position of a commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the main communist guerrilla group involved in the Colombian armed conflict.
“He was forced to host the FARC armed forces on his farm and he did not agree because he was very scared. That’s why he denounced them, “says Ms. Gomez, who La Tribune met at her home in Sherbrooke.
He fled to Cartago, a town of about 150,000 people in the west of the country, where he met Marcela Gomez. The couple had a daughter, Camila. The FARC, however, found the young family.
“They killed his sister and his brother,” says Ms. Gomez. We went on a campaign to hide, but he was the victim of an attack. He stayed in the hospital for two weeks, he left before his leave and we walked around Colombia for a year and a half. My daughter was one year old at that time. We were very scared. ”
The young family then decided in 2008 to cross the border to Ecuador to apply for asylum.
“They found us even in Ecuador,” she says. My daughter’s father left us alone because he thought he was in danger because of him. I asked for asylum alone and that’s why I’m here. He is not in Colombia or Ecuador, but I do not want to say where he is right now. ”
A family in danger
It is because of this story that Ms. Gomez feels that her mother and sister, and her two children, will be in danger if they return to Colombia. Remember that Patricia Cardona, her daughter Estefania and the two children of the latter, Didier and Alison, will have to leave the country on August 4 if nothing changes in their file since their application for refugee was refused three months ago.
“They want to find me, says Marcela Gomez. They know that my family has applied for asylum in another country. They have already tried to kidnap my sister Estefania’s children, but they have not succeeded. My sister did not want to say where I was. I know that if I go back to Colombia, they will do something to me. They are not able to find my daughter’s father and they think that if they find me, they will find him. ”
Ms. Gomez believes however to be perfectly safe since arriving in Sherbrooke.
“I have never been scared since I was here,” she says. I can rest easy. Sometimes I have panic attacks, but that’s normal. I can walk safely or go to the park with my children. ”
The Cardona family has also launched a petition calling on the government to reassess its position. Note that the family will be present at a vigil in front of the courthouse in Sherbrooke, Friday at 18 pm and the Independence Day of Colombia to be held Saturday at Belvédère Park for those who would like to put their name to the petition.