Report on Colombia conflict: "Message of an inconvenient truth" - Bark Sedov
Report on Colombia conflict: “Message of an inconvenient truth”

Report on Colombia conflict: “Message of an inconvenient truth”

Report on Colombia conflict: “Message of an inconvenient truth”

Status: 06/29/2022 11:41 a.m

A bloody conflict raged in Colombia for decades. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, millions displaced, many children abducted. Now the crimes have been processed in a report.

By Anne Herrberg, ARD Studio South America

“There is a future when there is truth” is written in large letters above the stage in Bogotá’s packed Municipal Theater. Then a slim man enters the stage with a very thick white book. Padre Francisco de Roux, President of the Truth Commission.

Anne Herrberg

“This is a message of truth, an uncomfortable truth,” said de Roux. The report is a testament to a decades-long conflict in which 80 percent of the victims were civilians.

Report on the processing of the Colombia conflict

Marie-Kristin Boese, ARD Mexico City, June 29, 2022 3:12 p.m

processing of the armed conflict

The Truth Commission presented its final report on the armed conflict in Colombia on Tuesday. Since the 1960s, left-wing guerrilla groups have been fighting against the state and right-wing paramilitaries.

The Truth Commission, which was founded in 2016 as part of the peace process with the FARC guerrillas, has conducted tens of thousands of interviews with victims and perpetrators in recent years.

Documentation of the most serious violations of human rights

The hearing of the victims shook the commission, said de Roux:

The thousands of children who were abducted to war, the search for abductees, the mass graves, the thousands of abused and humiliated women, the massacred farmers.

The most serious violations of human rights are documented in ten chapters. Massacres, kidnappings, sexual violence, extrajudicial executions – the commission is assuming far more victims than previously assumed. Between 1985 and 2018 alone, more than 450,000 people are believed to have been killed, almost half by paramilitary forces.

According to de Roux, the number of unreported cases could be even higher. “We’ve gotten used to death and kidnapping, but by acknowledging and acknowledging your responsibility, you go from being part of the problem to part of the solution,” he said.

Foundation for justice and reparation

The report is not legally binding, the Commission does not make any judgments – another institution was created for this purpose: the Special Judiciary for Peace. Rather, the final report lays the foundation for justice and reparations, de Roux said, and it includes a number of recommendations that de Roux presented to future President Gustavo Petro. Acting President Ivan Duque did not attend the presentation.

Petro is a former guerrilla. “The truth must not lead to revenge, conflict must not be synonymous with death,” he said. Overcoming the cycle of violence means overcoming revenge: one must rely on dialogue, agreement, coexistence and reconciliation.

“We will work to ensure that these recommendations become effective in Colombia’s history,” said the president-elect, who is due to be sworn in at the beginning of August.

Demand: consistently implement the peace treaty

Among other things, the commission recommends a reorientation of drug policy and a comprehensive reform of the country’s armed forces. The Truth Commission called on the government to consistently implement the peace agreement with the FARC. The commission called on the FARC splinter groups, the ELN rebels and other criminal organizations to lay down their arms.

Although the security situation in Colombia has improved noticeably, large areas in rural areas are still controlled by armed gangs. De Roux warned that “there is still a conflict between different actors that could re-emerge unless serious peace-building steps are taken.”

Colombia: Truth commission presents report on civil war

Anne Herrberg, ARD Rio de Janeiro, June 29, 2022 at 2:09 a.m

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