CAPAZ, FIV – Venezuela Chapter and Colectivo Orlando Fals-Borda presented a report on cross-border displacement to Venezuela before the JEP

Entrega en la JEP del  inofrme sobre

CAPAZ, FIV – Venezuela Chapter and Colectivo Orlando Fals-Borda presented a report on cross-border displacement to Venezuela before the JEP

La JEP recibe informe sobre exilio en Venezuela del FIV, Instituto CAPAZ y Colectivo Orlando Fals Borda

On Wednesday, March 16, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) in Bogota hosted the presentation of the report Forced displacement beyond the border: Victims’ contributions to truth, justice, and peace from Venezuela by CAPAZ, together with the International Victims Forum (IVF) – Venezuela Chapter, and the Colectivo socio jurídico Orlando Fals-Borda. 

Several victims attended the event and reminded the JEP magistrates of the importance of bearing in mind their experiences in order to ensure non-repetition. Truth Commissioner, Carlos Beristain, also joined the presentation. Magistrate Roberto Carlos Vidal of the JEP received the report.

Read the full press release on the report here (.pdf in Spanish)

Read La W’s article on the event here 


The report

The report gathers 38 testimonies by Colombian families that were displaced to Venezuela as a result of the armed conflict. Seventy percent of these families were forcibly displaced between 1999 and 2006, when the armed conflict intensified in the border areas with Venezuela. Death threats, land dispossession, and the intensification of the armed conflict were the main reasons for people leaving the country. The Report also states that the victims were peasant families of limited economic resources and with no guarantee of access to education, health, or physical protection by the Colombian State. Eighty-eight percent of the families interviewed identified themselves as rural, only 49% managed to finish primary school, and 17% had no access to Colombia’s education system.

“This report represents a real possibility for the voices of exiles in Venezuela to be heard. Venezuela has received more victims fleeing the armed conflict than any other country and we believe it is important to demonstrate the implications that this massive exodus has had on people’s lives. We are convinced that it will be a contribution to truth, justice, and peace”.  Lizandro, FIV – Venezuela Chapter

The voices of the victims

Some victims belonging to the IVF – Venezuela Chapter attended the presentation event and said a few words of thanks.

 “Despite having been displaced, there are many victims who live in Venezuela and we have tried to move forward. We are very proud to present this report containing our experiences and we hope that we can repair all the damage that the war has caused us” —Luz  Mirella Vega.

“We have managed to get ahead in spite of the difficult situation in Venezuela. The economic war there has aggravated our condition, we have no documents, no supplies to work with. As there are no consuls, we cannot complete legal procedures to obtain our identity card or to vote. We need to recover bilateral relations between Colombia and Venezuela and we hope this report can contribute to doing so” —Mirén.  

Entrega en la JEP del inofrme de desplazamiento transfronterizo a Venezuela

International support

CAPAZ Academic Director, Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters, also gave a speech on the day of the event.

“Today you open any newspaper in the world displacement is front page news. It is very visible these days, but here we are talking about an issue that is not on the news: there is a lack of visibility. That is why it is so important for these victims to be integrated into the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition”—Stefan Peters.

Truth Commissioner, Carlos Beristain added,

Carlos Berenstain y Stefan Peters informe sobre fenómeno del desplazamiento transfronterizo a Venezuela Instituto CAPAZ JEP“We didn’t know how to do the work in Venezuela in the midst of such a great economic and political crisis. But even if diplomatic relations were broken off, Venezuela could not be left out of the exile part of the CEV Report. And we did it: we took testimonies, held workshops. It was very difficult but we were an example that it is possible and necessary to work with Venezuela.