On 28 June, the Commission for the Clarification of the Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition of Colombia published its final report, which explains more than 60 years of armed conflict in the country.  Based on a process of analysis and investigation, the Commission has sought to clarify the patterns and causes of human rights violations during the Colombian armed conflict, promote the recognition of victims and contribute to coexistence.

The armed conflict leaves a balance of nine million victims, of which half a million were murdered, and 120,000 disappeared. During the decades of armed conflict, a million people have been forced to leave the country in search of protection. Exile is almost always the last resort after other acts of violence.

In an unprecedented effort, the Commission has actively included the voice of exiles. The Commission has gathered close to 30,000 testimonies of the conflict, of which 2,000 are from exiles living in 24 countries, 800 in Europe and 100 in Catalonia. This process has been guided by ICIP, which has acted as the Technical Secretariat of the Commission in Europe to promote the active participation of people in exile.

Lessons learned and future challenges

Now that the Truth Commission’s mandate has ended, ICIP is proposing an assessment session to take stock of the lessons learned in this process and the possibilities of inspiration for other peace processes worldwide.

The event, entitled “The Legacy of the Truth Commission of Colombia,” will take place at the Born Cultural Center on Friday, 4 November, at 6 pm and will feature the participation of Helga Flamtermesky, interviewer of the Catalonia Node, in support of the Commission, and Yanira Restrepo, who contributed her testimony to the final report of the Commission. Other participants include Dorys Ardila, a member of the Follow-up Committee on the Truth Commission’s recommendations, and Sílvia Plana, head of ICIP’s “Memory, coexistence and reconciliation” area.

The documentary Para volverte a ver will also be screened at the event. To highlight the contribution of exiles in building peace in Colombia, this short, produced by ICIP and Mandorla Films, documents the testimony of four victims of the conflict exiled in Europe.