The Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition of Colombia began its mandate in November 2018, intending to clarify the patterns and causes of human rights violations during the Colombian armed conflict, promoting the recognition of victims and contributing to coexistence. After more than three years of work, the Commission concludes this process in June 2022, presenting its Final Report and its subsequent dissemination, which will take place in July and August.
It has been an innovative mandate since, for the first time, a truth commission has included people living outside the country as participants. And ICIP has been a natural part of this process, acting as the Technical Secretariat of the Commission in Europe to accompany victims of the Colombian conflict in exile and promote their active participation.
In this capacity, ICIP has facilitated the creation of 15 working groups (nodes) in ten European countries, which have become spaces for participation, sharing experiences, and coexistence and dialogue among victims of the Colombian conflict living in Europe.
Additionally, several internodal groups have been created to address a range of thematic areas: gender, psychosocial support, recognition of victims, family members of victims of enforced disappearance, and second and third generations in exile.
Testimonies: Treasures of collective truth
For working with the Colombian exile community, 90 people were trained as interviewers and chroniclers, most of them victims and women, and a total of 822 testimonies were taken in Europe (2,000 worldwide).
This collection of testimonies has given visibility to life stories, silences, emotional impacts, coping, resilience and contributions to host societies and has also promoted transformative listening and self-recognition of the victims.
Recognition of the victims
Another aspect of ICIP’s work as Technical Secretariat of the Commission in Europe is the creation of spaces for the institutional recognition of exiled victims. The process, coordinated with the Catalonia Node in Support of the Commission and with the support of the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation, includes promoting institutional proclamations and approving resolutions by municipal governments and social organisations.
Lleida became the first city in the world to approve a resolution recognising its Colombian exiled and migrant community. On 30 July 2021, the local city council recognised “the contributions of civil society organisations in Lleida towards a sustainable and lasting peace in Colombia and support of the migrant and exiled community.” Subsequent resolutions of recognition were approved in June 2022 in Sabadell and the Barcelona Municipal Council of International Cooperation.
Documentary: ‘Para volverte a ver‘
In this work area, ICIP, together with Mandorla Films, has produced the documentary Para volverte a ver, which narrates the contribution of the Colombian diaspora in Europe to the work of the Commission through four testimonies. The film will premiere in Lleida on 8 July, as part of the Cinemón film festival. It will also be screened in Barcelona at the presentation of the final report to be held at the Catalan Parliament on 12 July.
This short documentary was produced with the support of the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation. More information about the film and its creation process can be found on the Facebook and Instagram accounts of Para volverte a ver.