Memory and Resistance

Feb 24, 2021 | News

(Repost from IFOR-Austria)
Once again FOR joined the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartadó, Colombia, in their commemoration of February 21.
On February 21, 2005 people were killed, including 3 children and community leader Luis Eduardo Guerra. This massacre was coordinated between paramilitaries and the Colombian Army’s XVII Brigade. A few days before his murder, Luis Eduardo Guerra said in an interview: ′′Our resistance is against the state, let’s be clear, but an unarmed resistance is civil resistance. It is defending our own constitution. It is telling the state: it’s you that is violating the Constitution, what we are legitimizing is the state not attacking the state. Our project continues, we don’t know until when.”

The project continues. Denouncing injustices, as Luis Eduardo Guerra did, is an essential element of the current resistance, which is nourished by the Peace Community’s own experiences and is kept alive through exercising memory. In its public statements, the Peace Community denounces violations of fundamental rights by paramilitary groups, the State and its armed forces, including the XVII Brigade, against the people of San José de Apartadó.

In 2020, a Constitutional Court judge ruled partially against the Peace Community and its complaints, protecting the XVII Brigade. The ruling requires the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartadó to preserve the good reputation of the XVII Brigade. The Peace Community continues to denounce human rights violations, without being deprived of its freedom of expression, because ′′ the good name is the reputation of the person, i.e. the appreciation that society emits the person for his public behavior.”

We remember the massacre of 2005.