With Close to 8 Million Victims: Colombia Must Learn From Own Pain
No generation of living Colombians knows lifewithout an armed conflict, be it in one town or another, in some township or city, perpetuated by a group of the left or the right or by the same State. Whether as victims or mere spectators, this conflict has permeated our consciousness and we have lived hopelessly tied to it. 8 million victims without counting those killed during the days of liberals/conservatives! Add to that the losses of institutional capital, education and in the axiological system (values).
In any other country this figure would be alarming and reprehensible in every way, but here Colombia, my country, we have grown to accept violence as natural to the point that 8 million seem not to make too much noise. On the contrary, we have inherited a culture of violence which has bred a regrettable systematicity of human rights violations. Here mere suspicion has resulted in thousands deaths of ordinary citizens who had nothing to do with anything. In Segovia, El Salado, Mapiripán, Bojayá, Tibú, Apartadó, Fundación, El Castillo — all are evidences that in Colombia violence (which is often legitimized) precedes any attempt at compassion, tolerance or dialogue. Con la Oreja Roja