COMMUNICATING without HARM in COLOMBIA

COMMUNICATING without HARM in COLOMBIA

In 2017, Colombians witnessed an event that ten years earlier was unthinkable. The oldest guerrilla in Latin America handed in
over seven thousand weapons in a village in the municipality of Mesetas, Meta. Surrendering arms was one of the first steps
for the implementation of the Peace Agreement signed between the national government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia— People’s Army guerrillas the previous year. A large banner that read ‘Our only weapon will be words’ was displayed on the stage where the ceremony took place. The same message was printed on the shirts of ex-combatants, who received their national identification cards, and female ex-guerrilla members who, in the middle of the act, released hundreds of yellow butterflies.
And whilst the disarmament scenario was being flooded with butterflies, social networks were being filled with insults and messages of deep pessimism regarding this historic event. Two days later, several polls showed that over half of their respondents believed that the peace agreements were on the wrong track. They showed that, while the weariness of war was a shared feeling by the majority, paradoxically, scepticism, despair and refusal to participate in a reconciliation process were abundant in a wide section of the population.


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