PBI-Colombia accompanies Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation at Truth Commission event
On August 27, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project tweeted, “Today in Pasto we accompanied the ‘Nydia Erika Bautista’ Foundation for Human Rights at an important ‘We Recognize Your Search’ event organized by the Truth Commission and UBPD Search Unit in tribute to women and relatives who look for their loved ones tirelessly.”
PBI-Colombia has previously explained, “The ‘Nydia Erika Bautista’ Foundation for Human Rights (FNEB) is an organization of relatives of the victims of forced disappearance from five regions around the country (Bogota, Valle del Cauca, Meta, Casanare and Putumayo) and an interdisciplinary group of lawyers, social workers and experts in social archives and communication, who accompany people who have suffered the disappearance of one or several loved ones.”
It has also noted, “They search for people who were forcibly disappeared, promote truth, justice and dignity for victims and their families, and advocate for changes to public policy in defence of their human rights.”
In terms of context for the tweet, the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) has explained that the “Truth Commission” refers to the Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence, and Non-Repetition.
The ICTJ notes that the commission began taking testimony in November 2018 with the “task of constructing a historical truth from the stories of millions of victims”.
As for the UBPD Search Unit, Colombia Reports noted in March of this year, “The Unit for the Search of Disappeared Persons (UBPD) will be sending out its first search units to find the remains of some 126,000 people who were forcibly disappeared during the conflict or never returned after being kidnapped.”
That article adds, “Starting in May, the UBPD will begin to look for and possibly exhume mass graves in Barranquilla, Cucuta, Barrancabermeja, Villavicencio, San Jose del Guaviare, Puerto Asis, Cali, Rionegro, Apartado, and Sincelejo. Next year, the prosecutors will be looking into the possible locations of the remains of missing persons in the municipalities of Florencia, Yopal, Monteria, Arauca, Quibdo, Ibague and Bogota.”
The United Victims Registry (RUV), the government body in charge of registering war victims, has registered 150,000 forced disappearances between 1986 and 2017.
PBI-Colombia has accompanied the Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation occasionally from 2007 and signed a full accompaniment agreement in 2016.