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Colombia’s truth commission hands over grim final report on civil war

#Colombias #truth #commission #hands #grim #final #report #civil #war

Colombia’s Truth Commission, set up to investigate atrocities committed during the country’s nearly six-decade civil war, released its 896-page final report on Tuesday.

The document is the result of years of work, which has included hearings from more than 14,000 victims of fighting between left-wing guerrillas, far-right paramilitary groups and state agents.

Authorities say the conflict has resulted in about nine million people being either killed, disappeared or displaced.

The report also includes the accounts of ex-combatants who have given up arms or are now prisoners, as well as soldiers and former presidents.

Father Francisco de Roux, who headed the commission, presented the monster report to President-elect Gustavo Petro during a ceremony at a theater in Bogota.

It’s a somber read — crammed with accounts of enforced disappearances, rape, massacres and torture, and it concludes that Colombians suffer from “collective trauma” passed “from one generation to the next.”

The Truth Commission, an extrajudicial body, is one of the bodies set up as a form of reparation for victims, emerging from the 2016 peace pact that disarmed the FARC guerrilla group.

There is also a court to investigate and punish the worst crimes and a special unit to find missing victims.

The report, titled “Without Truth, There Is No Future,” will be released chapter by chapter over the next two months, when the Commission officially ceases to exist.

The priest handed Petro the report with 19 recommendations for making the peace pact fully effective, including seeking peace with the ELN, the last guerrilla group operating in the country.

Outgoing President Ivan Duque, who criticized the 2016 peace deal and negotiations with guerrillas, did not attend Tuesday’s ceremony.

Petro said he would resume talks with the ELN, which had been suspended under his predecessor.

Despite the peace agreement, violence has flared up again in Colombia.

Areas abandoned by the now-defunct FARC guerrilla group have become battlegrounds for control of drug and illegal mining resources between armed groups – including FARC dissidents – who are holding many rural communities in a state of siege.

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