The Scottish bishops have been approached by the Colombian Truth Commission to make an appeal to any Columbians residing in Scotland as a result of the conflict that occurred during the civil unrest with FARC. Could you ask your parishes if they know of any Columbian parishioners and pass on the info below.
The Truth Commission was set up as part of the peace process between the Colombian Government and the FARC guerrilla. It is headed by Fr Francisco de Roux S.J. The Truth Commission seeks to uncover the truth surrounding human rights violations and abuses which were carried out during the decades of internal conflict. It is not a judicial commission but does seek to expose the collective responsibility of different sectors of Colombian society in human rights abuses and violations, that is to say not just the role played by the security forces, paramilitaries and guerrilla forces but also political and economic elites and companies (including international companies).
The Truth Commission seeks to collate the testimonies of victims/witnesses and even perpetrators of these crimes in order to prepare a report which will aim to lay out the patterns of violence which have characterised the conflict. Over the next few months, working with the support of a platform of NGOs and individuals, the aim is to organise a series of events in different parts of the UK/Ireland to ensure that Colombian refugees are aware of the work of the Truth Commission and making it clear that if they wish they may present their testimony to the Commission.