5 Books to Understand the Colombian Armed Conflict

The Commissioners of the Truth Commission Listened to All the Actors in the Armed Conflict, Focusing on the Victims of the Guerrillas, the Paramilitaries and the State Authorities. The Story also Took into Account Interviews with all the Former Presidents Who are Still Alive.

Cover of the books '1989', 'On the back of a mule' and 'Our foreign war'

Photos: planetadelibros.com

LatinAmerican Post | Julián Gómez

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Leer en español: 5 libros para comprender el conflicto armado en Colombia

This Tuesday, June 28, the Truth Commission, an extrajudicial body that was created thanks to point 5 of the Final Peace Agreement between the State of Colombia and the extinct FARC-EP, delivered the final report, which sought to understand the background of the acts of violence in Colombia, their impact and formulate recommendations for non-repetition.

In the event, which was presided over by Francisco de Roux, the conclusions that are made up of more than 15 thousand individual and collective interviews during the last 5 years were communicated in broad strokes.

Just as the Truth Commission tried to reflect the causes of the war in Colombia since 1958, Colombian authors have written crucial books that serve to understand the armed conflict in the country. Here are some of the most important.

'A lomo de mula' by Alfredo Molano

If there is an essential document to understand the importance of the Peace Agreement with the FARC-EP, it is this book consisting of 12 texts in which the journalist Alfredo Molano – who was one of the commissioners of the Truth Commission until his death in 2019- describes his trips to the periphery of Colombia in which he was looking for the true origin of the extinct FARC-EP and interviews some of the group's founders.

'No hay silencio que no termine' by Ingrid Betancourt

Operation Check in 2008 was one of the strongest blows that the FARC-EP received before starting talks with the State. In this operation, Íngird Betancourt was released after six years of kidnapping by said guerrilla. Two years after his release, politics published this story in which he narrates, from intimacy, the terrifying adventure he had to live in the bowels of the Colombian jungle.

Read also: This is how the war was lived in Colombia, according to the final report of the Truth Commission

'1989' by Maria Elvira Samper

At the end of the 1980s, Colombia was going through different hostile processes. The journalist María Elvira Samper is situated in this year to analyze the crisis that the country was experiencing from different fronts. On the one hand, the drug cartel war in Cali and Medellín; the demobilization of the M-19 guerrilla was also in force; a violent siege by guerrillas such as the FARC-EP and the ELN; in addition to a recrudescence of the extermination of the Patriotic Union Party. The following year, three presidential candidates were assassinated before the electoral contest.

'Los desacuerdos de paz: Artículos y conversaciones (2012 – 2022)' by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

After the brilliant 'The noise of things falling', the Colombian writer has been documenting the details of the Peace Agreements with the FARC-EP since the previous talks were announced. With interviews with then-president Juan Manuel Santos and Humberto de la Calle -among others-, there is a collection of essays and columns in this text. Juan Gabriel Vásquez delivers this book a couple of months before the final report of the Truth Commission.

'Nuestra guerra ajena' by Germán Castro Caycedo

Germán Castro Caycedo, who was one of the journalists who traveled the most to the remote areas of the coffee country, builds a story full of testimonies and documents that describe how drug trafficking arrived in Colombia under the auspices of the United States after the Vietnam War. This document is related to the armed conflict more directly, because drug trafficking has been the main fuel for groups outside the law for the last three decades.

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