Hand-painting, Ink, Watercolor
Zerkall 100 grams
22 × 6.6 in
“Los Falsos Positivos” (The False Positives) is a name given to a group of over 10,000 Colombian civilians murdered by the Colombian army between 2002-2010. In an attempt to generate statistics supporting the government’s war against rebel groups and justify continuing aid and military packages from the US government, poverty-stricken young men and teenage boys were lured with the promise of jobs into remote areas and murdered by Colombian army soldiers. Their dead bodies were propped with guns, camouflage uniforms and boots, and logged as rebel fighters killed while engaging with the Colombian army.
In relief on the cover of the book, a moth hides under camouflage, a dreaded omen cloaked in militarism. In Colombian folklore, the appearance of a moth in one’s house is a harbinger of death in the family. Disks of silver leaf pepper the text, reminding us of the monetary incentives soldiers received for each murder. The horizontal format of the book and its figures mimics the way authorities stand at these governmental press conferences, these corpses of the “false positives” dumped side by side into mass graves, and the processions of the young victims’ mothers, dressed in white demanding justice, the line-ups of soldiers and officers fabricating victories, lines of “confiscated” weapons laid side by side displayed for news cameras, the parade of ants found winding along every surface in a South American jungle, curtains of trees lining the highways where victims were ferried from their homes to their slaughter, and an array of empty chairs awaiting occupants that will never return.
Falso + (“False Positive”) 22” x 6.5” Unique accordion book with hardcovers, 15 pages. Watercolor, ink, and silver leaf on Zerkall paper 100 grams. Art and design by Eliana Pérez 2019.
The accordion binding allows the pages to be drawn out onto a flat surface for display, measuring up to 25’ 8”.
Yale University, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library