Memorias de ti…A story of Colombian Resistance

Memorias de ti tells the story of  family members and survivors of the political genocide against the Patriotic Union (Union Patriotica). The UP was a progressive party created in 1985 out of peace agreements between the insurgency and the government. Since its creation in 1985, the wave of state sponsored violence has claimed more than 5,000 of their lives. The objective of this collection is to emphasize the power of memory as a tool of resistance and hope.

Memorias de ti, is a collection of works by photographer Pablo Serrano and muralist Erin Yoshi completed in 2009. The collection is part of a much lager project called Memoria Viva, of the Colombian Human Rights organization, REINICIAR.

The UP was born as a broad movement of democratic convergence, in opposition to the in liberal-conservative proposal , who were the traditional and exclusive actors in the Colombian political life so far. In March 1986 (its first year of participation in elections), the UP won the highest vote in the history of leftist parties.

In those elections UP won 5 senators, 9 member of the Chamber of Representatives, 14 departmental deputies, 351 mayors and 23 municipal councilors. Given this first electoral success, powerful economic sectors, influential groups of traditional parties and sectors of government and the military forces designed a genocidal strategy to remove this nascent opposition force from the political spectrum.

Since then, year after year, there were massacres, disappearances, assassinations and attacks against leaders and members of this movement. The prosecution included 230 murders between 1985 and 1986, and another 100 in 1987.

That same year, were killed on the UP presidential candidate Jaime Pardo Leal, Pedro Luis Valencia senator and congressman too, Octavio Vargas Cuéllar. Years later, the second was UP presidential candidate killed, Bernardo Jaramillo Ossa.

As a result of this crime was systematically wiped out all the parliamentary representation of the movement (in which also Leonardo Posada and Manuel Cepeda Vargas took part), and its participation in the councils, assemblies and mayors was decimated.

Over the past 15 years there have been some 3,000 killings, many of them as a result of over 30 massacres, over 120 forced disappearances, a lot of dynamite attacks on their headquarters, and there are 50 survivors of the attacks with some degree of disability Hundreds of displaced persons, dozens of people in exile and all of the UP members and supporters threatened.

These facts show that the Colombian political system is undemocratic and exclusionary, and extermination perpetrated against the Patriotic Union is a genocide in which it is a high level of responsibility for actions and omissions to the Colombian State and, specifically, the last 4 governments.

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