2003: Light of hope

Sister Maritze is an amazing human rights defender who, over the years, has accompanied communities that have been victims of sociopolitical violence and the armed conflict and who search for justice, truth, and guarantees of non-repetition. One of the organizational initiatives that she has accompanied is to the Association of Relatives of Victims of the Trujillo Massacre (AFAVIT). This massacre took place between 1988 and 1994 in three municipalities of Valle del Cauca (Trujillo, Bolivar, and Riofrío) where approximately 340 people were victims of enforced disappearances, torture, and murder. This violence was perpetrated by paramilitary structures in association with entities and members of the State Security Forces. In 1992, the case was presented in the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR). It was the first Colombian case presented and resulted in a friendly settlement and an act where the Colombian state asked for the victims’ forgiveness.[1]

One of the important characteristics of the memory work around the Trujillo massacre has been the organization of pilgrimages and the construction of a memory monument, considered to be the largest in Latin America. In 2003, the third pilgrimage for the memory of the victims was held, when the transfer of Father Tiberio’s remains was authorized. Father Tiberio was an emblematic victim from this massacre. Sister Martize tells us the story.

PBI Colombia


[1] IACHR:   Report No 68/16, Case 11.007, Report on friendly settlement, Trujillo Massacre, Colombia, 30 November 2016

**Video realized by Javier Bauluz and produced thanks to the support the International Cooperation Agency of Extremadura for the Development (AEXCID)


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