The Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition (Sistema Integral de Verdad, Justicia, Reparación y No Repetición- SIVJRNR) was created based on point 5 of the FinalAgreement to End the Armed Conflict and Build a Stable and Lasting Peace, and integrates the following entities: (i) the Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition (hereinafter, the Commission); (ii) the Unit for the Search of Disappeared Persons (UBPD); (iii) the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP); (iv) comprehensive reparation measures for peacebuilding; and (v) guarantees of non-repetition.
The Unit for Comprehensive Care and Reparation for Victims – UARIV (Law 1448 of 2011) is not part of the SIVJRNR. However, the system’s component of integral reparation measures for the construction of peace was conceived to coordinate with the UARIV and complement its reparation mission. An example of this complementarity is reflected in the implementation of acts of forgiveness and reconciliation in the SIVJRNR and the measures with reparative-restorative content in which participants appear before the JEP.
There is no connection here. It is the UARIV (Unidad para la Atención y Reintegración Integral a las Víctimas) that is responsible for coordinating such return processes, which include the following as established by Law 1565, 2012:
- Productive return
- Return to work
- Humanitarian or special cause return
- Solidarity return
Please check the Foreign Office website for further information: “Colombia nos Une”
You can also visite the website of the UARIV.
The Commission’s main goal is to learn the truth about events that occurred in the context of the Colombian armed conflict and to contribute to the clarification of the violations and breaches committed during it, as well as to offer a broad-ranging explanation of its complexity to society as a whole. The Commission encourages and contributes to a recognition of violations of the rights of victims and of the responsibilities borne by the actors of the armed conflict. Finally, it is also intended to promote coexistence in the territories.
Further information on the Commission’s website.
It is a collective and inclusive account that explains certain events which took place during the conflict, why these occurred, their consequences in terms of the communities, and what must be done to avoid a repetition of the experience. The report will be available in different formats, and using communication and pedagogical tools designed to help all audiences understand its content.
The interview can be virtual or on-site. One of the interviewers contacts the applicant and explains the most important aspects to be addressed in the interview. The interview itself, is more of a conversation than an inquiry and the idea is for interviewees to feel comfortable. They can be accompanied by a family member or friend if they so wish, on the condition that this person remains silent during the course of the interview. Depending on the individual’s account, the interview can last up to two hours. If there are further concerns, the testifier can communicate directly with the interviewers and request psychosocial support during and after the interview, if required.
Yes. Those who decide to testify are free to choose what they want to talk about and this decision will be fully respected.
No. Testimonies are for the exclusive use by each of the institutions and are completely confidential. However, the victims’ report that is submitted to the JEP, including the testimonies, may be referred to the Truth Commission, only in the event that the person providing the report to the JEP expressly requests this referral to the Commission.
No other institution may solicit the Truth Commission for access to or transfer of a testimony or case.
Yes, although not to be disclosed or published.
No. Testimony before the Truth Commission does not confer any formal status under the Victims Act for purposes of accessing reparations or claiming land restitution. To do so, the participant must be listed in the Victims’ Register (RUV) and follow the corresponding administrative procedures. Similarly, in order to be recognized before the JEP as a special intervener, one must be accredited as a victim in one of the macro cases prioritized by this jurisdiction.
The purpose of testifying before the Truth Commission is to provide information about occurrences in the context of the conflict. The Commission’s account of the events that took place in the context of the conflict through its final report, brings—at least symbolic—recognition of the impact and damage caused by the institutional framework and the suffering of the victims.
It has no effect whatsoever, positive or negative, on the application for the recognition of refugee status in Germany. This request is made to the German authorities and has no connection with the Colombian Truth Commission. Participation in the Commission’s activities or giving testimony does not imply any recognition of the existence of security guarantees in Colombia that might call into question the need for international protection.
The Commission may reserve the source of the information and will take action to ensure confidentiality, which is key to the victims’ and witnesses’ protection. It must also assess the security conditions of participants in truth-seeking and truth-building exercises.
Where individuals are providing the truth in a process of recognition, psychosocial support is required to help those individuals give meaning to the experience in order to then rebuild their lives and the social fabric. The Commission must guarantee that this experience allows for social strengthening and avoids further individual or collective damage. You may request psychosocial support during and after the interview in which your testimony is taken, if required, however, the Commission does not provide specific advice, nor does it deal with issues related to administrative reparation, criminal investigations or the management of humanitarian aid.
A testimony is the narrative given by the direct victim or those who witnessed or knew about a violent act. It is a voluntary narrative in which the individual in question has chosen to give the Commission a narrative of events, but also to share a traumatic experience in which there may be feelings of pain, anguish, fear, silencing, anger, frustration, as well as experiences relating to the reconstruction of a life project as a survivor and of individual and collective resistance.It is the Commission’s responsibility to make exclusive use of any testimonies it receives, and to safeguard confidentiality by ensuring that the information is treated under the corresponding protocols and not shared with other entities or individuals.