Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Global Impact: Victims of FARC Violence Participate in Dialogue in Havana

According to EFEa dozen victims of Colombia’s long-running armed conflict, many of whom were kidnapped or subjected to sexual violence, have arrived in Havana to take part in dialogue with representatives of the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Sources involved in the negotiations told EFE they arrived late Tuesday (September 9) and were received by members of both delegations and representatives of the two countries sponsoring the peace process, Cuba and Norway.

Representing Colombia were Nigeria Renteria and María Paulina Riveros, while Judith Simanca and Luís Alberto Alban represented the FARC.

The victims included people who had suffered from violence carried out by the FARC, the Colombian military and rightist paramilitary forces, all of which are part of the decades-long armed conflict.

COMMENT: Nine of the 12 victims are women which “reflects a harsh reality of the armed conflict, of which women and girls have paid the highest price," Fabrizio Hochschild, the UN Representative in Colombia, said.

The UN and the National University of Colombia, along with Roman Catholic Church leaders, choose the members of the delegations attending the peace conference.

Last month, a group of victims sat before the two peace delegations for the first time, an experience which was described as fundamental for the success of the peace process.

Since the Colombian conflict began 50 years ago, an estimated 6.5 million people have been affected in some way, with 220,000 deaths, 25,000 disappearances, 5.7 million displacements and 27,000 kidnappings.