The Vivamos este Sueño campaign hopes to unite the country around a shared idea of peace. Emily Hastings attended the launch.
Small wonder that the launch of the Vivamos este Sueño campaign packed the hall at the Teatro El Dorado ECCI, since heavy hitters Iván Márquez, Humberto de la Calle, Alejandra Gaviria and Bertha Lucía Fries were all up on stage.
Márquez and De la Calle need little introduction. Fries was seriously injured in the 2003 El Nogal bomb that killed 36 and spent six years recovering her mobility, including relearning how to feed herself. Gaviria’s father was killed by paramilitaries when she was only six years old and she is now a campaigner and historian at the Centre for Memory, Peace and Reconciliation.
The April 27 event was organised by the Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CPDH), who are promoting the Vivamos este Sueño activities.
The campaign, which has the support of the Swedish-Norwegian Support Fund for Colombian Civil Society (FOS) as well as other organisations, seeks to show people the possibilities offered by peace and the application of transitional justice by inviting them to live the individual and collective dreams of the country.
The panellists shared childhood dreams, from Gaviria who said she wanted to fly, to Humberto de la Calle (who must have been a very serious child) who dreamed of setting up a foundation to support education and Márquez who unsurprisingly dreamt about representing victims of the state.
Moving away from childhood, Fries spoke of her own choice not to continue hating and the need to flick a switch in our heads. Her dream is of a society without violence.
Meanwhile, Gaviria shared the dream that this country might learn what it means to vote. “We are all implicated in this system,” she said, speaking about the need for individuals to take democratic responsibility rather than giving it away.
Márquez – who had been met by shouts of ‘Iván, amigo, el pueblo está contigo’ – spoke about the progress that has been made to date. He also took the opportunity to call on the government to comply with its promises – especially in tackling the phenomenon of paramilitaries.
On that, De la Calle agreed: “The deaths of human rights workers can’t occur. It’s something that the whole society needs to work against, even the people who voted ‘No’.”
It’s an important and timely campaign, given that the peace agreement still divides much of Colombian society. One significant challenge for the CIDP will be to reach beyond the pro-peace-leaning audience that gathered for the launch and to share their dream with the people who voted ‘No’.
By Emily Hastings