BOGOTA – Bogota’s Santa Teresa church on Wednesday held the first funeral Mass for Yuliana Andrea Samboni, the 7-year-old who was kidnapped, raped and murdered on the weekend in an apartment in a well-off capital neighborhood.
Relatives, neighbors and friends of the girl came to the church to bid farewell to Yuliana in an emotional ceremony with some of the choral numbers she loved.
Alejandra Enciso, an artist with the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra and Yuliana’s teacher, told EFE that the little girl was “attentive, sensible, tender and happy,” and she emphasized her love of choral performances.
The teacher said that four members of the chorus who performed at the Mass were also the girl’s teachers.
Shortly after 10 am the funeral procession departed from the church led by a somber and crying clown, followed by a vehicle carrying Yuliana’s body escorted by six members of the Gaula, the anti-kidnapping group within the Colombian Police, wearing dress uniforms, along with more than 100 of her relatives and close associates.
Along the way, some members of the funeral procession shouted and demanded “justice for Yuliana,” calling for the death of Rafael Uribe Noguera, her alleged murderer.
Father Ruben Dario Ramirez presided at the church ceremony, receiving the white casket and sprinkling it with holy water.
Yuliana’s death has shocked Colombia and, although many of her close relatives and friends were at the service, her pregnant mother was not, having been hospitalized after receiving the tragic news.
Outside the church, amid huge media coverage, hundreds of people awaited the end of the service and for the funeral procession to depart for the Military Transport Air Command aerodrome, from where her body will be flown to the little village in southwestern Cauca province where she was born and where she will be laid to rest.