Colombia Truth Commission releases final report on six decades of conflict
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Colombia Truth Commission releases final report on six decades of conflict

Colombia’s Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition (Truth Commission) Wednesday presented its final report on the prolonged Colombia conflict, reporting that approximately 450,664 people were killed over a period of nearly six decades

The Truth Commission was constituted by a peace agreement (2016) between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). It was established to document human rights abuses and highlight the conflict’s causes. 

The 900-page long report included 30,000 interviews with people ranging from soldiers to five former Colombian presidents. The report stated that the consequences of the conflict are “massive and intolerable” and the non-combatant civilian population, especially the ethnic population, was most effected during the conflict.

The report further highlights that “out of every ten people killed violently in the armed conflict-eight were civilians,” and documented that the number of disappeared people is around 121,768, which accounts for 90% of the civilian casualties. 

The statistics highlighted in the report state that 50,000 people were kidnapped between 1990 and 2018; 7 million + people fled homes; 34,000 children were forcibly recruited by guerrillas; and 56,000 civilians were killed by Colombia’s armed forces, including 6,300 people murdered in remote areas.

The Truth Commission recognized the US financial support, recommended changing the framework of Colombia’s military and police force, and advised authorities to re-evaluate military objectives. The report also suggested the separation of the National Police from the Ministry of Defence.

Further, the report urged the Colombian government to abrogate its militarized approach to drug policy and reformulate drug policy in coordination with the US and create a new framework to move from a prohibitionist perspective towards legal regulation.

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights supported the Truth Commission’s report and said:

I want to pay tribute to Colombia’s Truth Commission at a historic moment as it presents its final report today. I would also like to pay tribute to the victims, whose courage and persistence were the basis for the Commission’s creation… The work of the Truth Commission has highlighted the causes of the conflict and exposed its painful reality. Without truth, reconciliation is not possible. Without reconciliation, the risk of repetition remains real.