Indigenous people perform a "ritual of forgiveness" with former FARC guerrillas

A group of former FARC guerrillas held a "ritual of forgiveness" on Saturday with indigenous communities in the department of Antioquia (northwest) who were victims of the armed conflict in a colorful and heartfelt peace and reconciliation ceremony held in the municipality of Dabeiba.

"I speak from the pain because I have already forgiven them, that is the message that human beings must put into practice so that violence diminishes and peace prevails," said Leonardo Domicó, indigenous leader of the Embera Katio people, during the ceremony.

He added: "our songs, dances and rituals are our way of saying that we have already forgiven."


In the "ritual of forgiveness", which was accompanied by the UN Mission in Colombia, several guerrilla ex-leaders participated, such as Rodrigo Granda, Pastor Alape and Ómar Restrepo, who signed together with the indigenous people a document in which they promised to structure a "Truth Commission of the Embera Eyabida Nation" in Dabeiba.

"We are 11 legally constituted guards and a population of around 8,000 indigenous people who are participating in this process of forgiveness and reconciliation with ex-combatants of the FARC, after a process of reincorporation to civil life and that is an example for the entire world," Domicó added.

For his part, Alape, who is part of the Common Revolutionary Alternative Force (FARC) party, thanked the indigenous communities of the region because the fact allowed them to "continue reaffirming our status as fighters, forgers for peace."

"We began to ask for forgiveness and to recognize the Embera nation and indigenous peoples as historical victims of all the conflicts that have beset us in Colombia," he said.

He added: "We are saying that from our ethical commitment to building peace, we recognize this people as a people who are victims of the history of conflicts and therefore also require that peace building be worked with it."


During the day there were also traditional dances of the Emberá Katío community, as well as service and peasant fairs in which Dabeiba residents were informed by the state unit for the victims about the route of individual reparation for those who suffered the ravages of the conflict in that region

However, some people took the opportunity to complain about the few benefits received, as is the case of a man wearing a sign that said "We support peace, we accept forgiveness, but we are against inequality in the 'repair 'of the victims. "

In Dabeiba, located in the department of Antioquia, within the limits of the strategic agroindustrial region of Urabá, several fronts of the José María Córdova Bloc of the FARC that were fighting for control of these territories with paramilitaries and the Army.

There the authorities completed last week the exhumation of 54 bodies from a grave in the Dabeiba cemetery, where the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) said in December that there could be more 50 victims of extrajudicial executions, known in Colombia as false positives.


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