The Week of Truth, a three day event dedicated to remembering paramilitary violence in the northern Colombian departments Sucre and Bolivar, will start on July 21 in Sincelejo, a town in the Montes de Maria.
The event aims to openly discuss the extreme violence committed by paramilitaries, who entered the area in 1997 when local businessmen and politicians joined forces with paramilitaries, creating a vigilante group to protect their interests against leftist guerrillas.
The paramilitaries, known as the “Bloque Heroes Montes de Maria,” launched one of bloodiest campaigns in Colombia’s history. More than 20,000 families were displaced by violence between 1996 and 2000, and there were 75 massacres between 1999 and 2000 alone.
As well as a public forum there will be talks, workshops, concerts, and photography exhibitions dedicated to remembering the conflict.
All sectors of civil society in Sucre and Bolivar have been invited to the event, including victim associations, members of local organization, and church representatives, to encourage discussion of paramilitary violence.