Human rights, conflict and post-conflict

Colombia has an inner conflict even before Gaitan’s death, and frequently, rebuild the history to find out the point where everything starts failing is imperiously overwhelming. Nevertheless, it can be stated that everyday there is a noticeable unfairness when it comes to execute human rights since conquest and colonial times, resulting in a damaged social fabric because of the social conflict as well as the lack of guarantees to protect individuals.


Human rights are “demands or freedom, faculties or allowances directly connected with dignity or intrinsic value of every human being”[1] (ESAP, 2019), and aim to safeguard and foster self-fulfillment, achieve freedom, and find respect on their peers, so they can live calmly, fearless from their equals and with the possibility of creating feasible foundations which guarantee an optimal life quality. These words become a utopia during a journey through history and the streets of the nation.


One of the most evident contexts to mention the inexistence of human rights is the arm conflict in which “violence against civil population […] has been distinguished by the quotidian succession of short scale events within a war strategy which allegedly bets to fulfill local control” said aspects mean that violence on population is a tool, so armed groups achieve their territorial domination, and power objectives as well as the appropriation of legal and illegal resources.


Having this in mind, we can also glance out of Colombian lands. We could observe Angola in 1975, Burundi after their 25 years in war, or the middle east with its numerous devastated cities, we could glance at Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo around Casa Rosada looking for their disappeared sons and daughters during Videla’s dictatorship , the tangible memory of abuse and tortured experienced by the journalist Jineth Montoya when visited La Modelo jail to interview a paramilitary member, or the dead eyes of transgender woman Juliana Giraldo after being shot by a soldier. This is how worldwide several wars are lived and allow the constant violation of human rights, on the other hand the minorities’ segregation and the lack of a competent justice system.


By 2016, Colombia signs the Peace Treaties with one of the oldest and powerful guerrillas of its territory, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias Colombianas, where find relevance the reconstruction of the social fabric ripped by war and streghten the peace culture ties in order to spread the concept that is possible to live in a country without war; this is how Colombians have strated to walk the post conflict paths defined by the Spanish organization Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (2006) define as a “time lapse in which hostilities have been reduced to the necessary level, so reintegration and rehabilitation processes may start (p. 3-4).

Then, war starts to be narrated in other ways, from the survivors and ex fighters’ versions and aims to guarantee a no repetition of occurrences in regard to promote a more solidary society, able to rebuild itself. Anyhow, is hard to talk about something that hurts, this is why new formats to express and spread the events which generated the war have been promoted, such as videos, poems, images, diaries, museums and others, precisely this is the moment in which every Colombian is in charge to support the construction of a stable and everlasting peace.




By: Alison Mena

Translated by Jorge Enrique Cuéllar