Video: “A peace agreement is an ethical commitment”: The Nobel Peace Prize was in Bucaramanga

CThus, three decades after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for her leadership and struggle for the recognition of indigenous peoples and ethnocultural reconciliation, Rigoberta Menchú Tum continues to be a reference and her voice maintains influence in Latin America.

As a victim of the conflict in her country, she has been an example of resilience and forgiveness, which has earned her worldwide recognition as an activist for human rights and especially for women.

The Guatemalan leader participated this week as the main guest at the Tenth Assembly of Representatives of Colombia, held in Bucaramanga. He took the opportunity to talk with Vanguardia about the implementation of the peace accords, the situation of social leaders and advances in women’s rights.

Five years have passed since the signing of the Peace Agreement with the FARC. What analysis do you make of the difficulties that the country has had for implementation?

I believe that the signing of the end of the armed conflict is an ethical pact that the parties are obliged to comply with because they were actors in that conflict and at the same time of peace. I think that the State should budget for that peace, because if there are no resources to implement the changes that the agreements say, they will be postponed in time.

I see that there is a positive part in the peace accords because a fairly old war on the continent ended and it gave us hope, but then the implementation comes, and I think there is a long way to go, there are pending issues on the agrarian issue, human rights and something very important, the reunion of the Colombians, let them start again.

How do you see the situation of social and indigenous leaders in Colombia and Latin America?

I think it is necessary to hold a summit of indigenous leaders because we must make visible the indigenous peoples, their leaders, their organizations, their progress. Because these are entrepreneurs, they have a great youth that is looking for horizons. If we can make that visible, perhaps it would change the vision of the indigenous peoples. One of the things that affects the most is silence, it is being mixed up among everyone, but no one recognizes the specificity of the leaders, that is why I have been a person who tries to make visible the struggles, the advances, the participation.

I know that in Colombia there are many norms, that there are advances in relation to indigenous peoples, hopefully these norms will also serve at this time for the rights of indigenous peoples on the continent.

How do you analyze the phenomenon of social protest and the national strike that Colombia experienced in May and June of this year?

I always urge leaders not to criminalize, because many times people forcibly go to a march, because poverty is very great, for many it is wasting time, having to go on a one-day or two-day strike, It is not easy for the peoples to express their struggles in a demonstration, and if the reaction they receive is rejection, it becomes hopeless for the population. That is why I always ask that the marches be respected, that the voice of the people be respected and that they make their demands. Responding to people’s demands is the smartest thing we can do in these times.

Colombia is always an important focus for us, everything that happens here draws our attention, everything that happens here we feel as ours and, especially, the peace process. I believe that the involvement of women, indigenous leaders and leaderships, including municipal leaders, is very important, and here are the human rights defenders. I am here thanks to the invitation of the National Federation of Representatives, which has done a very important job of observation, and that kind of union is what we need in Latin America.

Has the transformation in the world been achieved, with a focus on women, that you asked for in 1992 when you received the Nobel Peace Prize?

I think we’ve made a lot of progress in the last two decades on women’s rights. Even if we talk about the issue of justice, women were given a lot of compensation, crimes such as femicide were classified in many countries, we managed to create UN Women, which was due to the constancy of our struggle, of our claims before the international community. There is a greater respect for ethnic and gender diversity, because in those years the taboos were much higher. And there is something very important, which is equal participation, because the participation of women in decision-making was achieved, also in politics, but be careful, that is not permanent, if we do not take care of it, it goes backwards, especially at this time. because the pandemic has made women mothers and teachers of their children. There are still many difficulties such as access to the Internet.

It is the second time he has been in Bucaramanga. What is your impression of the city and the region?

I have followed what is happening in Santander, mainly because it has a lot of history, good development, and I think that in some way there is an important reflection of peace here. Bucaramanga is special to me, I was here in 2012 at the Book Fair. On these tours we always run, but we also give ourselves a little time to go to see some corner, some area, and this time I had time to go see shoes and bags, because here you stand out for that industry, which is very important.

I congratulate this area, in particular Bucaramanga, for being the cradle of diversity and that they are in solidarity seems very good to me. The social, economic or political conflicts that make people go to another country is really a very dramatic phenomenon, especially for the neediest people.

I have learned that there are quite a few Venezuelans here in Colombia, especially in this area, that it is important that there be oversight by international organizations because I believe that people should not be exposed to forced exile, that is unfortunate, people should continue to be supportive, We never know when it is time to migrate.

Almost three decades after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for her leadership and struggle for the recognition of indigenous peoples and ethnocultural reconciliation, Rigoberta Menchú Tum continues to be a reference and her voice maintains influence in Latin America.

As a victim of the conflict in her country, she has been an example of resilience and forgiveness, which has earned her worldwide recognition as an activist for human rights and especially for women.

The Guatemalan leader participated this week as the main guest at the Tenth Assembly of Representatives of Colombia, held in Bucaramanga. He took the opportunity to talk with Vanguardia about the implementation of the peace accords, the situation of social leaders and advances in women’s rights.

Five years have passed since the signing of the Peace Agreement with the FARC. What analysis do you make of the difficulties that the country has had for implementation?

I believe that the signing of the end of the armed conflict is an ethical pact that the parties are obliged to comply with because they were actors in that conflict and at the same time of peace. I think that the State should budget for that peace, because if there are no resources to implement the changes that the agreements say, they will be postponed in time.

I see that there is a positive part in the peace accords because a fairly old war on the continent ended and it gave us hope, but then the implementation comes, and I think there is a long way to go, there are pending issues on the agrarian issue, human rights and something very important, the reunion of the Colombians, let them start again.

How do you see the situation of social and indigenous leaders in Colombia and Latin America?

I think it is necessary to hold a summit of indigenous leaders because we must make visible the indigenous peoples, their leaders, their organizations, their progress. Because these are entrepreneurs, they have a great youth that is looking for horizons. If we can make that visible, perhaps it would change the vision of the indigenous peoples. One of the things that affects the most is silence, it is being mixed up among everyone, but no one recognizes the specificity of the leaders, that is why I have been a person who tries to make visible the struggles, the advances, the participation.

I know that in Colombia there are many norms, that there are advances in relation to indigenous peoples, hopefully these norms will also serve at this time for the rights of indigenous peoples on the continent.

How do you analyze the phenomenon of social protest and the national strike that Colombia experienced in May and June of this year?

I always urge leaders not to criminalize, because many times people forcibly go to a march, because poverty is very great, for many it is wasting time, having to go on a one-day or two-day strike, It is not easy for the peoples to express their struggles in a demonstration, and if the reaction they receive is rejection, it becomes hopeless for the population. That is why I always ask that the marches be respected, that the voice of the people be respected and that they make their demands. Responding to people’s demands is the smartest thing we can do in these times.

Colombia is always an important focus for us, everything that happens here draws our attention, everything that happens here we feel as ours and, especially, the peace process. I believe that the involvement of women, indigenous leaders and leaderships, including municipal leaders, is very important, and here are the human rights defenders. I am here thanks to the invitation of the National Federation of Representatives, which has done a very important job of observation, and that kind of union is what we need in Latin America.

Has the transformation in the world been achieved, with a focus on women, that you asked for in 1992 when you received the Nobel Peace Prize?

I think we’ve made a lot of progress in the last two decades on women’s rights. Even if we talk about the issue of justice, women were given a lot of compensation, crimes such as femicide were classified in many countries, we managed to create UN Women, which was due to the constancy of our struggle, of our claims before the international community. There is a greater respect for ethnic and gender diversity, because in those years the taboos were much higher. And there is something very important, which is equal participation, because the participation of women in decision-making was achieved, also in politics, but be careful, that is not permanent, if we do not take care of it, it goes backwards, especially at this time. because the pandemic has made women mothers and teachers of their children. There are still many difficulties such as access to the Internet.

It is the second time he has been in Bucaramanga. What is your impression of the city and the region?

I have followed what is happening in Santander, mainly because it has a lot of history, good development, and I think that in some way there is an important reflection of peace here. Bucaramanga is special to me, I was here in 2012 at the Book Fair. On these tours we always run, but we also give ourselves a little time to go to see some corner, some area, and this time I had time to go see shoes and bags, because here you stand out for that industry, which is very important.

I congratulate this area, in particular Bucaramanga, for being the cradle of diversity and that they are in solidarity seems very good to me. The social, economic or political conflicts that make people go to another country is really a very dramatic phenomenon, especially for the neediest people.

I have learned that there are quite a few Venezuelans here in Colombia, especially in this area, that it is important that there be oversight by international organizations because I believe that people should not be exposed to forced exile, that is unfortunate, people should continue to be supportive, We never know when it is time to migrate.

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Video: “A peace agreement is an ethical commitment”: The Nobel Peace Prize was in Bucaramanga