[Note: The following has been adapted for CPTnet. The original is available on CPT Colombiaâ€™s website.]
As we arrived at the meeting with the people of Bella Union, a village neighboring El Guayabo, I saw a woman sitting under a green tree with a big smile. I immediately thought it would be interesting to know more about her.
Our task was very specific: to document cases of human rights violations from 1990 to 2014. Soon it was time for the woman with the beautiful smile to share. She was a bit tired because she had given her statement many times without seeing results, so I paid close attention to what she was saying.
As she told me step by step what she had suffered at the hands of violent actors, her smile grew more radiant. She did not seem weighed down by sadness, despite the fact that over ten years ago, violence in the region put out a light in their lives. She continued recounting the events that ended the lives of her family: first the story of her fatherâ€™s death, then her brotherâ€™s, and then she took a break, saying that the story of her son was the most painful.