Who are we?

The CORPORACIÓN PARA LA DEFENSA Y PROMOCIÓN DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS -REINICIAR, Corporation for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights – Reiniciar, is a nongovernmental organization devoted to demanding the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms of Colombians, in accordance with the international obligations taken on by the Colombian State and established in the national Constitution. Due to our origin and background, CORPORACIÓN REINICIAR is specially oriented to the defense of civil and political rights, with an integral and comprehensive understanding of human rights.

OUR WORK

CORPORACIÓN REINICIAR directs its activity through three areas of work:

  • Training in human rights and international humanitarian law, productive projects, and accompaniment of organizative processes.
  • Documentation of cases and preparation of reports concerning the human rights situation in several regions of Colombia, and in relation to different social sectors. 
  • Comprehensive assistance of victims, including legal and psychosocial support, and humanitarian attention.In addition to our work before the national court system, CORPORACIÓN REINICIAR also carries out international litigation and advocacy in order to defend human rights. We are the petitioning organisation in the case of the genocide against the Unión Patriótica, UP, Patriotic Union before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and we handle several cases of precautionary measures of protection for persons and communities in imminent danger. We also maintain active communication with the United Nations thematic groups.

ORIGIN

CORPORACION REINICIAR was founded in Bogotá, in 1993, by a group of persons coming from the Regional Corporation for the Defense of Human Rights, CREDHOS, in the city of Barrancabermeja. Due to their human rights defence work in this region, they suffered from ongoing death threats, attacks, and the murder of several of organisation’s members. After being forcibly displaced to other Colombian cities, as well as exiled abroad, some of the members re-united in Bogotá with the commitment of renewing the search for justice and bringing to fruition the rights of all persons.

 THE GENOCIDE AGAINST THE UNIÓN PATRIÓTICA BEFORE THE IACHR

CORPORACIÓN REINICIAR has always dedicated its core effort to the search for justice in regards to the genocide committed against the Unión Patriótica, UP, Patriotic Union political opposition movement, which came about in 1984 as a part of the peace dialogue undertaken between Belisario Betancurt administration and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - FARC. The UP was able to quickly gain broad grass roots support, which allowed it to become the principal political force in several Colombian municipalities.  As the UP strengthened, violent persecution was carried out against the persons and sectors that decided to come together in the new movement. During this bloody extermination, more than 3 thousand persons were murdered due to their political position, in addition to those that were tortured, forcibly displaced, and victim of other violations and threats. In 1993, after having verifi ed the denial of justice in the national court system, CORPORACIÓN REINICIAR and the Colombian Commission of Jurists presented the petition for this genocide before the IACHR. An arduous process was initiated in order to document the violations committed against the members of the UP. Among other aspects, this process was meant to clearly demonstrate the systematic persecution against members of the movement, as well as to assess the damage suffered. Additionally, within the framework of this case, the Coordinación Nacional de Víctimas y Familiares del Genocidio contra la Unión Patriótica, National Coordination of Victims and Family Members of the Genocide against the Patriotic Union, and more than 15 regional coordinations have been given established throughout Colombia. Presently, the case continues through the process before the IACHR, in hopes of a final resolution by this organization, after the failure to reach a friendly solution due to the absence of an effective response by the Colombian government.

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LIVING MEMORY

CORPORACIÓN REINICIAR created this instrument in order to contribute to dignifying the memory of the victims of human rights violations by recovering their personal, political and social history. “Memoria Viva”, Living Memory, brings its objective through research, information gathering involving photographs, film, personal accounts, and documents. Through interconnecting the different elements, the history of each one of the victims –and the history of the collectives they belonged to- can be re-constructed.

 

REINICIAR IN NETWORKING ON HUMAN RIGHTS

So as to further our mission more effectively, CORPORACIÓN REINICIAR has entered into partnership with other like-minded non-governmental organizations. Additionally, we are members of several Colombian coalitions, including the Coordination Colombia – Europe – United States; the Alliance of Social Organisations for Cooperation for Democracy and Peace in Colombia; the Colombian Platform on Human Rights, Democracy and Development; and the Colombian Coalition against Torture. Internationally, we also belong to the World Organization against Torture – WOAT.

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