The Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, has received the final report from the Truth Commission that has been working in Colombia since 2019 to clarify the truth, acknowledge the victims and promote co-existence after decades of armed conflict.
A delegation from the Truth Commission, including the doctor and psychologist Carlos Martín Beristain – the only foreign member of the team – handed over the document to the minister, recalling that “Spain has always supported the central role that victims must play in the peacebuilding process in Colombia and this report gives them the role they deserve”. The minister underlined the bravery of this exercise and underlined Spain’s decisive support for the work of the Commission.
Spanish Cooperation in Colombia has played an important role in backing the implementation of the Peace Agreement with the FARC. The accompaniment of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spanish acronym: AECID) has focused on the main measures being employed in those regions worst affected by the conflict and violence, guaranteeing cross-cutting approaches on human rights, gender, cultural and ethnic diversity, and placing victims at the heart of peacebuilding. The support offered by AECID has been both institutional and financial, as shown by the additional 800,000 euros that the Agency channelled in 2021 to finalise the report.
The Truth Commission report has already been presented in Colombia and will shortly be disseminated in Spain. Its publication marks a milestone in the peace process. To draw up the report, more than 28,000 witness statements were taken and 1,195 reports on violence in the country were reviewed.
Museum of Memory
A two-month period now opens up to disseminate and share the report. The mandate of the Truth Commission has now concluded. A new era will open up focused on spreading the legacy and safeguarding the memory. To achieve that, the digital platform Transmedia, with the backing of Spanish Cooperation, will ensure that the legacy reaches all territories and is easily accessible to young people and students.
The report also proposes the creation of a Museum of Memory of Colombia and a Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation.
In the coming days, the Truth Commission will carry out public events in several Spanish cities to publicise the outcome of its work and will hold meetings with Colombian residents in Madrid, Bilbao and Barcelona.
-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-