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First meeting of victims with the two parties of the Peace Talks in Havana

Havana, August 16, 2014

Communique to Public Opinion
The members of the first delegation of victims who participated in this first meeting, express:

1. We received the invitation to participate in this historic event of the Havana Peace Talks as a gesture of recognition in favor of peace, reconciliation and guarantee of the rights of victims. We value the effort made by United Nations, the National University, the Colombian Episcopal Conference, the garantor countries – Norway and Cuba – and the accompanying countries – Chile and Venezuela -, and the hospitality of Cuba as host country. We certify that we've had total freedom of speech and thought, without any kind of restrictions upon the expression of our experiences, ideas and proposals. We are not, and we don't pretend to be, representatives of the whole universe of victims in Colombia. Nevertheless, we confirm that we have contributed to this meeting from different experiences and processes, full of dignity, with willingness of achieving unity among us. Experiences, that deserve all repect, without any being excluded or silenced.

2. Today, we have shared the commitment to truth as a foundation for peace. The different proposals, presented in a serious and qualified way, have sought to give a meaning to the principles of recognition of victims, recognition of responsibilities and non-impunity, starting from the willingness to transcend individual experiences.

3. We declare our profound recognition and respect for all victims and we invite them to make common cause. We decided to continue and strengthen the effort so that all victims will be listened to, and so that society as a whole will commit to accompany us in the demands of our rights and the achievement of peace.

4. We expect the full commitment of both parties to incorporate the different approaches and proposals, and to establish a follow-up mechanism that will allow effective materialization. The parties are in charge of its incorporation.

5. We place, in the hands of both parties, of the media and of the different sectors of society involved in the solution to the conflict, the respect for our activity and the guarantee of our security, avoiding manipulation, finger pointing and stigmatization.

6. We welcome the atmosphere of respect, attention and appreciation for our participation by the delegations of the national government and the FARC.

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