My Home Was Here

Luis Cobelo

2014 - 2015


30 years ago in Colombia, an avalanche of mud, lava and water destroy a town of nearly 32,000 people. In the days leading up to the final tragedy, November 13, 1985, an incessant rain of ash not allowed see the sun. The volcano Nevado del Ruiz was several months warning that would burst. The government of Belisario Betancourt and local authorities ignored the signs of “The sleeping lion". That day, around midnight and without warning, the volcano spit out all his anger as dropped a huge downpour that caused the nearby river burst its banks. A deadly mix of stones, mud and hot lava come down mercilessly by the slope of the mountain to one place: Armero. 25,000 people died in short minutes. Nature was implacable. As much as you try, you can not fight against her, and if you think cannot be so vile, it is. It was so cruel, that all this happened at night, while many were already asleep. I came back with some survivors to where they lived, remembering memories and silences.

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  • Emiliano lost wife and one son.

  • Gladys Primo, she lost two little children and her husband. She think their children are still alive and she is looking for them since the tragedy day.

  • Nora Cruz lost all her relatives. She saved with her sister and father and mother.

  • Omayra Medina lost her husband. She was pregnant at the moment of the tragedy, his son live with her.

  • José Montealegre "El Capi". He lost all their relatives. He says that "I don´t believe i save by my skills, was God who save me".

  • José Antonio Rubio who scape with his family ( wife and 2 children) and that save their lives. All the other members of his family died in the tragedy.

  • Edilma Loaiza. Edilma not looking for their children. Three of them died at her side. Her husband too.

  • Benjamín Herrera. He lived two blocks Armero Cemetery beside his wife Rosalba and his 14 months son Oscar. The day of the tragedy Benjamin was not with them, had been sleeping on a remote farm in the village where he worked as a driver of a bulldozer.

    The little Oscar and Rosalba were swept away by the flood and he is still looking for them.

  • María Mercedes lost her mother and a sister. She still looking for them. She saw her mother on the TV 3 years ago. She thinks is alive but the mother doest´n want to see her.

  • Marco Rivera. He lost wife and little child in the tragedy. He save because that day he was in Bogotá doing some formalities.