Each April 9th we, as Colombians, celebrate the National Day of Memory and Solidarity with the Victims, a day for a wake-up call and to remind our history.
By: Maribel Posada López
With the arriving of the National Day of Memory and Solidarity with the Victims, it’s important to remind the value of the conflicts that had happened in the course of the Colombian history, not so distant in time but quite distant in memory. As Colombians and humans we like to hide and ignore the harsh and terrifying parts of our history, without acknowledging the true significance of those events, we see everything in white and black, in good and evil, but we don’t allow ourselves to open our eyes and watch every and each color that surround us, even the dark parts of it. The April 9th is the day for that wake-up call, and to realize that the loss and the gain are a fundamental part of our history; without it we are taking a step back from our own people and truth.
That’s why it’s important for us, as Colombians, to remember those times where our own people have had the worst of it; the massacre of Bojayá (2002) was one of them, where one hundred nineteen residents of Bojayá were killed by a crossfire between the FARC-EP guerrilla -now political party- and the paramilitary force; also the hundreds of forced “takes” and assaults of towns like Granada, Miraflores, Argelia, Vegalarga, Miranda, Puerto Rico, Sabanalarga and so on. Added to that, the massacre of El Salado, were sixty people were murdered and four thousand were displaced, plus the massacre of Macayepo where fifteen people were killed and the whole town was abandoned. Furthermore those episodes of violence were perpetrated during the 2000 and 2015, by the guerrillas of the FARC-EP -no longer a guerrilla- and the ELN, the paramilitary; in this contemporary conflict, according to Portafolio the victims of the armed conflict of Colombia have reached the number of eight million three hundred and seventy-six thousand four hundred and sixty-three (8.376.463) victims of different departments, ethnics and reasons.
In the other hand its important to make that wake–up call reminding us that not only the farmers have been victims of the armed conflict, the violence in Colombia have reached its peak of expansion to the cities, where not only the displaced people arrive but also lots of institutional violence, starvation and unemployment takes place, realizing that it’s important not only for the facts but for the rising of solidarity among the Colombians and also the demand of rights that should be done by each one of the victims of the conflict.
From: European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.
The Colombian people have been victims of a general and rising violence, the guerrillas, the paramilitary and the State in the different departments of our big and unique country. As we have heard the victims of the armed conflict have been through a lot of pain, the majority of them have suffered from displacement, sexual assault, abduction added to that the victims have been ignored for a long long time in Colombian history making them also victims of the State. That’s the reason why the National Day of Memory and Solidarity it’s so crucial in a moment of vindication of rights, forgiveness and truth, with this act the victims of the armed conflict can take a step forward and hope for a future very different from their past.
In 2011 the National Day of Memory and Solidarity with the victims of the armed conflict was born and, since that, each year in the whole country are celebrated events to hear and learn from the victims of the armed conflict, programs and events are held to provide their vindication and development in the society. That’s how the victims supported by the government or by themselves are now acting to promote their vindication of rights, for them and for those who need it the most, and to prevent future acts against the citizens and guarantee a future of peace for the upcoming generations.
El Tiempo. (24 de noviembre de 2010). Las masacres cometidas por las Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC). Obtenido de El TIempo: https://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-8435506
Hernández-Mora, S. (18 de octubre de 2012). Las FARC, una historia plagada de crímenes atroces. Obtenido de Edición América: https://www.elmundo.es/america/2012/10/18/colombia/1350529868.html
Portafolio. (9 de abril de 2017). 8.376.463: las víctimas del conflicto armado en Colombia. Obtenido de Portafolio: https://www.portafolio.co/economia/gobierno/el-numero-de-victimas-del-conflicto-armado-en-colombia-504833