At an international event commemorating the second year of his Administration, President Duque underlined that the principles of truth, justice, reparation, and non recurrence ought to be the corner stone for building peace, but over the course of the last fifty years the people to whom a helping hand was extended have re-engaged in criminal activities.
President Duque reflected on violence and its manifestations throughout the country’s history, from its Independence through the XX century “marked by a painful internal conflict”, and after the emergence of illegal armed groups “that sought to justify ideological causes by attacking the life, honor, properties, rights, and liberties of the citizens”.
“All these manifestations that brought so much pain have seen times during which they were settled through peace agreements but, regretfully, throughout our history, the situations of violence have repeated themselves”. He said.
He asked “what happened in our history that, after living processes that we called peace processes, prevented ousting from our territory such cruel manifestations of violence?”.
The Head of State underlined that one of the lessons history has taught us is that building peace requires enforcing the principles of truth, justice, reparation, and non-recurrence.
“If we build justice, justice meaning the absence of impunity, there would be no new manifestations of violence, because impunity gives life to new forms of violence”, he said.
He then added “it is equally important to underline that if the truth is told, and if the truth goes hand in hand with justice, then victims can see hope on the horizon” and “reparation must be effective and non-repetition must be is achieved”.
“But, sadly enough, what we have seen in the last 50 years is that many of those who benefitted from the generosity of the State, to engage in a transition process, in the end readily succumb to the temptation of returning to a life of crime”, he said.
“Pero, tristemente, lo que hemos visto en los últimos 50 años, es que muchos de los que han sido beneficiados con la generosidad del Estado, para hacer un proceso de transición, terminan fácilmente tentados por el regreso a la actividad criminal”, advirtió.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Claudia Blum, and the Presidential Advisor for Stabilization and Consolidation, Emilio Archila, accompanied President Duque at the meeting.
Other guests at the virtual meeting included the former President of the Spanish Government, Felipe González; the former President of Uruguay, José Mujica; the UN Under Secretary-General for Political and Peace-building Affairs, Rosemary di Carlo; the EU Special Envoy for the Peace Process in Colombia, Eamon Gilmore, the Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz-Massieu; and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro.