In remembrance of the thousands of murdered communist party members of the Patriotic Union (UP), the “Corporacion Reiniciar” (Restart Corporation) has organized several events over the next few days.
Events will last from Thursday to Saturday to pay homage to the anniversary of the National Day for the Dignity of Victims of Genocide against the Patriotic Union. The anniversary will bring together the remaining survivors of the UP party starting with a march Thursday, then they will host a colloquium Friday entitled “Lessons to account in a peace process in Colombia,” and following with a closed door meeting of surviving UP members Saturday, according to newspaper El Espectador.
The UP suffered an unknown number of murders since its inception, blamed on drug traffickers and paramilitary, but in collusion with Colombian armed forces. El Espectador reported a conservative estimate of 1,500 deaths but a generally accepted number is 3,000 murders over the years.
The UP formally ceased to exist in 2002 due to a combination of “political genocide” and the mass extermination of its members. It was born from failed FARC peace negotiations in 1985 when a group of the guerrillas laid down arms and, along with other left wing groups, formed the UP political party. After the formation of the party, members were targeted for their left wing ideology, enduring mass disappearances and killings, including several presidential candidates.
“Impunity continues to haunt and relatives of the victims are still waiting for truth, justice and reparation,” El Espectador reported.