On February 8, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “Now accompanying @nydia_erika [the Nydia Érika Bautista Foundation for Human Rights] and women from different territories victims of forced disappearance, in sit-in before @ComisionVerdadC [Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition].”
Earlier this week, the Nydia Érika Bautista Foundation also tweeted: “Sit-in before the Truth Commission of relatives of victims of forced disappearance! From 7 regions of the country, women, indigenous people, Afro-descendants, peasants, gather in Bogotá to draw up joint strategies to fight for the rights of our loved ones!”
And during the sit-in, the Truth Commission itself tweeted: “Organizations of relatives of disappeared persons today asked the @ComisionVerdadC for clarification and the truth about what happened to their loved ones.”
What is the Truth Commission?
The Commission has explained: “The Commission is an institution of the Colombian State, of constitutional rank, extrajudicial and independent from the government. It works closely with institutions to guarantee victims and Colombian society’s right to the truth.”
The task of the Commission is to “listen to the victims, witnesses and those responsible for the armed conflict in every sector, region and social condition in the country, in order to gain a broad and comprehensive narrative of the events and contexts that explain half a century of war.”
How many people were disappeared?
The International Commission on Missing Persons has noted: “As many as 120,000 people are missing from five decades of conflict in Colombia, and all sectors of society have been affected. Disappearances have been perpetrated by state actors, paramilitary and guerrilla groups, and organized crime.”
One of those many mission persons is Nydia Erika Bautista.
Yanette Bautista has been fighting against forced disappearances in Colombia since the disappearance of her 32-year-old sister Nydia Erika on August 30, 1987. Members of the Battalion of Intelligence and Counterintelligence of the Colombian National Army have been named as responsible for the disappearance of Nydia Erika.
What is the Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation?
Yanette established the Foundation in 1999 while in exile from Colombia.
PBI-Colombia has explained: “The Nydia Erika Bautista Foundation for Human Rights is an organization of relatives of the victims of forced disappearance from five regions around the country and an interdisciplinary group of lawyers, social workers and experts in social archives and communication, who accompany people who have suffered the disappearance of one or several loved ones.”
It adds: “A specific focus of the Foundation are cases of enforced disappearances of girls and women in the armed conflict and as a result of socio-political violence in the country, in which signs of gender violence have been identified.”
The Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project has accompanied the “Nydia Erika Bautista” Foundation occasionally since 2007 and fully since 2016.