In Focus


On April 9, Colombia commemorated for the first time the National Day of the Memory and Solidarity with the Victims. This photo gallery collects the expressions of commemoration that took place in three cities in the country: Bogotá, Medellín and Villavicencio.


Colombia marked the country’s first National Day of Memory and Solidarity with the Victims April 9. For the millions who have suffered human rights violations in Colombia’s entrenched armed conflict, this was a day for their voices to be heard and their suffering to be acknowledged by the state; a nationwide call for accountability and reconciliation in a highly divided society.


Last month ICTJ, with Saint Joseph University’s Modern Arab World Research Center and UMAM Documentation and Research launched the website “Badna Naaref” (We Want to Know). This oral history project conducted by students tells the stories of suffering and survival during the war in Lebanon, serving both to commemorate and educate.


The search for justice in Guatemala continues, more than 15 years after the end of its long and brutal civil war. Claudia Paz, Guatemala’s prosecutor general and head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, spoke with ICTJ about the struggle of victims and survivors to obtain justice for the crimes they suffered.


The International Peace Institute (IPI) held a panel discussion on International Justice in Times of Transition, focusing on the relationship between peace and justice in the context of recent developments and transitions throughout the world.

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After three years on trial and a total of seven in detention, Thomas Lubanga gained the dubious notoriety of becoming the first person to be convicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. It would be encouraging if the court, including the prosecution, indicated it saw Lubanga’s judgment as an opportunity to learn critical lessons as well as celebrate a historic day in international justice.


In a simple house made of wood and straw and smelling of earth, women, girls, and the occasional man narrate, sometimes laughing and other times crying, the stories of how their life used to be before being forcibly displaced to San Juan Nepomuceno. This is one of the many local memory initiatives taking place throughout Colombia today.


For the millions of victims of the country’s successive wars, Lubanga is just one of many who are responsible for crimes on an astonishing scale. Congolese authorities must end the widespread impunity enjoyed by those who remain in positions of power in the government and military or violence and instability are likely to continue for years to come.


The Spanish Supreme Court has ruled the judiciary has no place investigating the deaths and disappearances of the Franco era. The verdict is a disappointment for the victims of Francoism and confirms Spain remains unwilling to deliver justice for the crimes of the past, writes Eduardo González, director of ICTJ's Truth and Memory program


In the latest ICTJ podcast, Heidy Rombouts, Kenya project leader with the German development agency GIZ, discusses how understanding the links between development, security, and transitional justice will help inform and strengthen policies for implementing complementarity on the ground.

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