June 14, 2021

They suspend Colombia from the most important world network of historical memory

The National Center for Historical Memory of Colombia (CNMH) was suspended this Monday from the Network of Latin American and Caribbean Memory Sites (Reslac), of which 275 members from 65 countries are part, for not subscribing to its principles that have to do with recognition of the internal armed conflict and the rights of the victims.

This was reported by the executive director of the coalition, Elizabeth Silkes, in a letter dated today in New York and addressed to the director of the CNMH, Darío Acevedo.

The Colombian official did not respond to a request about work criteria, in which the 275 members of 65 countries that are part of this group are aligned.

“We believe that four months is a prudent time to wait for an answer from you, so we see that by not responding you imply that you are not willing to subscribe to the principles of our international community and we are therefore obliged not to to renew the membership of the CNMH in the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, “says the letter.

The communication adds that “accordingly, we allow you to notify you that your membership of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and Reslac will be suspended as of February 1, 2020”.

The CNMH is an institution of the national order that seeks to collect and recover all documentary material, oral testimonies and by any other means related to the violations occurred during the armed conflict.

Initially, Reslac asked the director of the CNMH in September 2019 to renew the membership by expressly adhering to the declaration of principles signed by all members of the Coalition.

The network had also asked him to subscribe certain work criteria such as the recognition of the armed conflict in Colombia and to seek to guarantee the right to the truth for the victims.

Likewise, recognize that victims are the center of all actions and guarantee their participation in the processes of consultation, decision making and execution of symbolic reparation measures.

Likewise, support the memory exercises that are being developed from civil society, that recognize the places of memory and that seek to build a culture of coexistence for the non-repetition of the past of political violence in Colombia.

The direction of Acevedo in the National Center for Historical Memory has been dotted by the official’s pronouncements against the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), an organ that is part of the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition, created by the peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the FARC.

The historian was also questioned because he once told reporters that the armed conflict in Colombia could not become “an official truth.”


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