Technical Secretariat of the Truth Commission in Europe

ICIP was the Technical Secretariat of the Colombian Truth Commission in Europe based on a collaboration agreement signed between both institutions, from 2019 until the end of the Commission’s mandate, in August 2022.

For three years, the goal of the Technical Secretariat was to facilitate the participation of Colombian victims living in Europe, as well as social organizations and institutions that have supported the work of the Truth Commission from abroad. This participation was articulated at three levels:

  • Hubs or groups supporting the Commission: 16 spaces for meeting and individual and collective participation in 10 countries: Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain (Andalusia, Catalonia, Madrid, the Basque Country and Valencia), France and the South of France, Italy, Norway, United Kingdom and Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland.

  • Internodal working groups concerning thematic axes: gender, psychosocial support, recognition of victims and relatives of victims of forced disappearance. A group of second and third-generations in exile and the ethnic group were also created. 

  • Taking testimonies: 90 people took more than 800 testimonies from victims living in Europe.

The work carried out by the Technical Secretariat in Europe and the participation of Colombian exiles in the work of the Truth Commission has been included in the publication ‘Exile and the Colombian Truth Commission‘ (ICIP and Truth Commission, 2023).

The publication gathers together the legacy of the Truth Commission and the lessons learned from the peace-building process from exile, emphasizing the central elements of participation: active listening, the psychosocial approach, recognition, and the role of art in healing and transformation elements, among others.

The Parliament of Catalonia hosted on Tuesday, July 12, the presentation of the final report of the the Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition of Colombia. It was a very moving event with the participation of Colombian conflict victims exiled in Catalonia, followed by about 250 attendees.

As the Technical Secretariat of the Truth Commission in Europe, ICIP has produced different audiovisual materials to show the impacts of exile and its contribution to building peace in Colombia.

Documentary 'Para volverte a ver'

In 2022, ICIP and the Truth Commission produced a documentary to show the role of the Colombian diaspora and exile in Europe. The film, entitled ‘Para volverte a ver’ (To see you again) is a production of Mandorla Films, an independent audiovisual company specializing in documentaries.

The documentary was filmed in Denmark, Switzerland and Catalonia. It is in those countries where the film’s four protagonists reside, Yanira Restrepo, Juana Sánchez, Wilmer Torres and Lizethe Álvarez.

The filming ended during the meeting of nodes that the ICIP organized in April 2022 in Barcelona. Commissioners Carlos Beristain and Lucía González, who also appear in the film, participated in this meeting.

Documentaries and shorts films on the exile recognition process

In an unprecedented initiative, 120 victims who had to flee Colombia due to the armed conflict have created two songs about exile with the support of singer-songwriter Marta Gómez.

The first, ‘Surcos de amor’, talks about the relationship that the victims maintain with Colombia in their imagination. The second, ‘Vuelve’, is intended as a symbolic response from Colombia to the victims.

Five episodes on the impacts of exile on Colombian women

ICIP and the Inter-hub Gender Group, in support of the Truth Commission, produced with Alharaca Radio Feminista a series of five podcasts on Colombian women in exile and the diaspora, ‘Semillantes’. The podcasts were created to keep alive the memory of the women who were forced to leave Colombia because of the armed conflict.

The ICIP and the Truth Commission have published various reports and infographics to document, dignify and socialize the experiences of the victims of the Colombian conflict exiled abroad.

Last update: 15/01/2024