Colombia's Truth Commission on Wednesday hears testimony from former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) commander Rodrigo Londoño and former United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) paramilitary group leader Salvatore Mancuso.
Colombia Welcomes Paramilitaries With Open Arms, Maduro Says
The President of the Commission, Jesuit priest Francisco de Roux, will lead the meeting with Londoño and Mancuso. They are expected to acknowledge their responsibilities and contribute to the clarification of the causes and effects of the Colombian the structural violence.
During this virtual meeting, in which 20 victims of the armed conflict will also take part, Londoño will speak from Bogota and Mancuso will participate from a U.S. prison where he is serving a sentence for terrorism and drug trafficking.
The process to hear Londoño and Mancuso, which began on March 18 when the Commission held private meetings with both, will contribute to "healing the pain of the victims and understanding what happened in the war in relation to the parties involved".
The 20 victims participating in the meeting "represent the moral authority and the voice of many Colombians who demand explanations as to why the war raged against the civilian population and reached unimaginable levels of degradation," the Commission said.
During the armed conflict there were disappearances of people, forced displacements, extrajudicial killings, selective assassinations of political party militants, and massacres against Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities.
The Truth Commission is an extrajudicial and non-binding mechanism that emerged from the Peace Agreement that the Colombian government and the FARC signed in 2016. Its mission is to contribute to reconciliation and coexistence in the country through the construction of historical memory.