This Tuesday (28), the truth commission that investigates the 58 years of armed conflict in Colombia presented its final report. The group, created from the Havana Peace Accords in 2016, had three years to dialogue with all parties to the conflict and prepare the document with recommendations.
The newly elected governors, Gustavo Petro, president, and Francia Márquez, vice president, were present at the ceremony. The current president, Iván Duque, even though he was invited, traveled abroad and sent the Minister of the Interior, Daniel Palacios, on behalf of the government. In addition, more than 3,000 human rights organizations and institutions also attend the event.
“Gustavo Petro’s election shows that we will go further in peace until we love life. We are confident that Petro, Francia and the social and political unity that they summoned will adhere to our recommendations to implement the necessary changes”, said the priest and president. of the Commission, Francisco de Roux.
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The Commission received more than 10,000 proposals from different sectors. Its recommendations include the creation of a Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation, regulating the promotions of military personnel within the Armed Forces, creating memory and reparation policies, increasing access to education in the countryside, as well as abandoning the war on drugs.
“The appropriation of truth cannot be understood as an extension of revenge. Truth has the meaning of dialogue, agreement, coexistence, reconciliation. There is the possibility of an integral peace. We do not want new armed conflicts, we want to abandon weapons as an instrument for resolution of conflicts,” Petro said after receiving the document.
With virtual participation, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, these that “the truth is an imprescriptible and transformative right for both victims and society”.
Both the final document and other investigative materials on the conflict will be published on the Truth Commission website.
“The purpose is for the public to appropriate our history so that it does not repeat itself. It will be one of the most important repositories in the country in terms of human rights and the armed conflict”, declared Father Francisco de Roux.
The Commission also defends the resumption of negotiations for a peace agreement with the National Liberation Army (ELN), suspended by the current administration of Iván Duque in 2019.
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Colombia has been experiencing 58 years of armed conflict concentrated in disputes over territory between the army, insurgencies, drug trafficking and paramilitary groups, which has accumulated around 260,000 victims.
Between 2002 and 2008, during the early years of Álvaro Uribe Vélez’s administration, there is evidence of at least 6,400 cases of “false positives” – civilians killed by state security forces as alleged guerrillas.
According to a survey of Peace Development Institute (Indepaz)since 2016, 1,624 human rights defenders and ex-combatants have been murdered, with 930 killed during Duque’s administration.
In 2022 alone, 47 massacres were recorded with more than 100 victims, 21 of whom signed the peace mechanism.
Editing: Arturo Hartmann