COLLECTIVE REPARATION FOR THE ORGANIZACIÓN FEMENINA POPULAR

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I would like to introduce you to a publication to whose presentation I attended last week: Re-parar para la paz, Caminos y Reflexiones en el proceso de reparación colectiva de la Organización Femenina Popular (Repair for the Peace, Paths and Reflections on the collective reparation process of the Organización Femenina Popular).
That activity was held the 25th November Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The Organización Femenina Popular (OFP) is a women`s grassroots organization focused on defending women´s human rights. It was born 42 years ago in the municipality of Barrancabermeja, Colombia. During many years the OFP was victim of a systematic plan designed by paramilitarism whose aim was to exterminate this organization as a strategy to attack the social movement it represented as it was seen as a threat to the economic interests. Its members were persecuted and threaten. Some of its leaders were murdered and its headquarters attacked. There are recorded more than 140 crimes committed against the OFP.
After the entering into force of the Victims and Land Restitution Law, the Colombian government offered to the OFP to be collectively repaired as a gesture of peace and of recognition of the State responsibility for action or for omission regarding the more than 140 crimes committed against this organization and as a right.
The OFP agreed with that offer under the condition that the collective harm diagnosis and the Integral Reparation Plan could be undertaken by themselves.
Currently 11 of the 64 collective reparation measure contained in the Integral Reparation Plan have been implemented. The Colombian government assumed the commitment to implement the rest of the measures by 2018.
It is important to understand the collective reparation as measure to guarantee the right to political opposition, democracy and participation of social organizations that propose alternatives to the current development model even if this is ideologically contrary to the government. For this it is necessary to strengthen the organizations, to re- built the political project of many social, women, students, peasant organizations and trade unions that have been victimized in the framework of the arm conflict due to their identity as organizations.
At the end of the presentation of the publication, we were offered a small healer perfume as a symbol to heal the wounds of political persecution and human rights violations suffered by the women of the OFP.
It was a very touaching event.
Written by Carmen Miguel