March 24 marks the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims
Truth and memory are intrinsically linked. The truth of what happened during a conflict or under an authoritarian regime may be officially suppressed for years, yet victims cannot forget.
The process of preserving these memories and accounts of suffering to honor the resilience and dignity of victims is known as memorialization. It serves to provide both victims and society with closure and create space for dialogue about different experiences and legacies of violence, countering denial and revisionism. Architectural memorials, museums, and commemorative activities help establish a collective record of events and prevent recurrence of atrocity.
While memorials usually follow official initiatives put forward by governments, more and more efforts to establish memory sites are coming from civil society and victims themselves.
In the case of Colombia, several civil-society- and government-led initiatives converge around memory actions that are intimately linked to creating lasting peace and strengthening the rule of law.