PBI-Colombia at Memory School with the Movement of Victims of State Crimes and CCAJAR lawyers’ collective

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On August 20, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project posted: “Our Social Fabric Reconstruction Support Team is in Valle del Cauca at the Memory School alongside the Movement of Victims of State Crimes and Collective Lawyers. We are honored to share this space of commemoration and resilience.”

PBI-Colombia has previously explained that the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CCAJAR), the Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE) and the Standing Committee for Human Rights (CPDH) have been developing regional formation processes that center memory as a key element in peacebuilding and non-repetition.

PBI, through its Reconstruction of Social Fabric (ARTS) team, has accompanied this process since it began 2016.

It has been estimated that 261,619 people were killed between 1958 and 2018 as a direct result of the armed conflict of which 214,584 were civilians. Earlier this year, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) inquiry found that 6,402 civilians were killed by the military between 2002 and 2008 and falsely passed off as enemy combatants.

CCAJAR has written: “Let’s build memory so that it is not nipped, this is and continues to be the motto of the School of Memory.”

And MOVICE has highlighted: “From our experience we consider that state crimes are mainly those perpetrated by State agents, or by non-State agents (such as paramilitary groups) acting in complicity with, or whose crimes are tolerated by, the State.”

“We consider that the majority of the crimes against social and popular movements in Colombia are the result of political and economic interests. In this context, this sociopolitical and State violence was not born as a result of the internal armed conflict but is rather a root cause of the conflict.”

And it notes: “MOVICE has adopted a clear political posture that emerged from the crimes committed against the popular and social movement in Colombia [were done] in favour of the interests of the dominant classes and transnational companies.”

In the PBI video below, Andrés Felipe Blackborn, the coordinator of the Memory Schools, explains: “The schools manage four lines: the first is the truth and historical memory from the victims’ point of view. The second has to do with effective participation. The third is about the understanding of the Peace Agreements or the pedagogies of the Peace Agreements. And the fourth is protection and self-care.”

He adds: “At this point PBI comes in, to accompany very concrete spaces at the time and to observe some psychosocial cares.”

For more on this, please see the 3-minute video 2016: Escuelas de la Memoria – para que la Historia nunca se repita.

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