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Families of victims of Colombia's political violence address peace talks in Cuba

Relatives of the victims of Colombia’s decades of political violence addressed Havana-based peace talks for the first time at the weekend.

A group of 12 victims, the first of five sets, included those whose families had died at the hands of far-right paramilitaries, their government backers and national liberation fighters from the Farc rebel group.

Around 220,000 people are thought to have died in the five-decade conflict, which has displaced at least three million.

Colombian right-wingers cried foul about victims of the government and paramilitaries being allowed to address the talks — despite state-linked forces being responsible for most of the atrocities.

Liberal Party Senator Sofia Gaviria, whose brother was killed by Farc and whose powerful family is allegedly tied to paramilitaries, accused the rebels and government of manipulating which victims were allowed at the talks.

The victims were chosen by the UN and Colombian National University, which has also organised a number of victims’ forums.


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