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PRESS RELEASE

Colombia: Truth Commission documents over 60 years of conflict in unique document

swisspeace, 08.07.2022 - A new 8,000-page document traces the events that marked more than 60 years of war in Colombia. The conflict between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP resulted in 450,664 deaths, 50,660 abductees, and nearly eight million refugees. A Truth Commission has worked intensively to collect and evaluate testimonies from victims and survivors, witnesses and perpetrators of the conflict. A significant contribution to this has been made by the Colombian diaspora in Switzerland - with the support of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and swisspeace. Some members of the Commission are currently in Switzerland and are available for interviews.

Over the past four years, the Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence, and Non-Repetition of Colombia has intensively worked to gather testimonies from victims and survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators of the armed conflict. Its objective was to identify human rights violations, such as killings, enforced disappearances, massacres, and torture between 1958 and 2016. With the support of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and swisspeace, the Colombian diaspora in Switzerland significantly contributed to the Commission's findings. It is the first time in history that a Truth Commission has opted to systematically include diaspora stories.

This cross-border work will not only contribute to shedding light on human rights violations for collective memory but also lays the foundations for a peaceful future in Colombia. Newly elected President Gustavo Petro has pledged to act on the Commission's recommendations. These include accelerating the implementation of the peace agreement, improving the legal system's independence, and reforming the security sector.

The report also documents the reasons for and consequences of forced displacement and therefore contributes to the recognition and dignity of Colombians who had to flee to Switzerland. Its findings may further inform Swiss migration policy toward Colombian and other nationals.

Some commission members are currently in Switzerland. If you would like to interview one of the Commission members, please contact us by July 11. You are warmly invited to share this press release with other interested journalists and media representatives.

CONTACTS FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES:

Maria Vogelbacher: maria.vogelbacher@swisspeace.ch, +41 61 551 56 36 (DE)
Sanjally Jobarteh:
sanjally.jobarteh@swisspeace.ch, +41 61 551 56 51 (FR)
Lisa Ott:
lisa.ott@swisspeace.ch, +41 61 551 56 20 (DE, SP, EN)

Comisión de la Verdad
Nodo Suiza
La Colombia fuera de Colombia en Suiza
swisspeace
ask! - Arbeitsgruppe Schweiz-Kolumbien
Association Urabá Global Suisse-Colombie
International Association for Human Rights Advocacy
New Press Swiss Foundation







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