On Friday, the IEDP Human Rights group (pictured below) presented an overview of historical and contemporary challenges pertaining to human rights in Colombia. The group presentation was a prelude to a conversation with Moira Birss from Peace Brigades International - an organization that works to assist and advocate for human rights defenders.
The group first overviewed human rights reporting and documentation of human rights abuses and violations by quasi-state and state actors. The group then traced human rights abuses by paramilitaries and left-wing insurgencies, as well as the legal framework that facilitated impunity. In 1994, the demobilization process officially started and culminated in the codification of Law 975 (Justice and Peace Law). The group explored the origins of the law, the resulting procedural and institutional reforms, and enduring problems with human rights and reparations. In this regard, the Colombian truth and reconciliation process was compared to other Latin American initiatives. Finally, the group introduced the historical memory (Memoria Historica) project and emblematic cases.