Civil War in Colombia

“The answer is when the victims feel acknowledged and this happens through justice. These are processes of more than two to three decades…”

Medellin is hosting the Second International Symposium on Historical Memory this week. The symposium is designed to foster an open discussion about Colombia’s history and produce documents that will affect government policy.

In her speech, Martha Nubia Bello Albarracin from the National University in Bogota, said that victims of violence in Colombia will take years reconcile their lives after their experiences in the past decades, according to El Colombiano.

“There isn’t a date for the end of the reparation. The answer is when the victims feel acknowledged and this happens through justice. These are processes of more than two to three decades.” Albarracin stated.

Peruvian specialist Javier Ciurlizza affirmed Albarricin’s statements and believes that reconciliation can take more than 30 years, especially since its fundamental to “reconstruct the historical memory taking into account that remembering isn’t a duty, but a right that can’t be enforced on victims.”

For Ciurlizza, and in general most attendants at the symposium, truth and memory are fundamental parts for the processes of reparation and preventing repetition.

“The processes have to be constructed from the people. The wisdom of the people will tell which direction to follow and, in the construction of the memory, how far to get,” Brenda Pineda said, member of the group Historical Memory of the Office for Human Rights of the Archbishop Guatemala (ODHAG).

Pineda recommended Colombia “with the education and programmes of construction of peace with children in schools. This forms a guarantee that the violent acts won’t be repeated.”

Colombia Reports

November 12, 2010

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