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The Colombian Transitional System of Truth and Justice Awarded International Human Rights Prize

This year, the International Prize from the Spanish Human Rights Organization (APDHE) has been awarded, jointly, to Francisco De Roux SJ, Patricia Linares and Luz Marina Monzón—Presidents of the Colombian Truth Commission, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and the Search Unit for Disappeared Persons, respectively, in a significant and symbolic effort to support and endorse the extremely important work that these institutions will do in the coming months and years to make lasting peace in the country a reality and an effective transition.

The association has valued “the immeasurable hope placed on the peace process”, given the division that the Colombian society has suffered for more than half a century. The press release issued by APDHE not only notes the influence and relevance of these institutions and their leaders in the Colombian transition, but also their potential to strengthen, transform and impact the defence of victims’ rights outside the Latin American region: “millions of victims from other latitudes of the World that are suffering the consequences of armed conflicts similar to the Colombian one, hope that this innovative model of transitional justice is successfully implemented, to help leave violence behind, and is replicated in other societies in need”.

Due to the complementary and integral nature of the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition designed in the Peace Accord, APDHE has decided to award this prize to the three leaders of the Colombian transitional institutions simultaneously:

In Patricia, Luz Marina y Francisco, we find the trust inspired by their exceptional commitment and impeccable trajectory, their common objective of safeguarding the integral and transformative character of the System of Transitional Justice designed in the Peace Accord, and consequently, their willingness to address the rights to truth, justice and reparation from a comprehensive perspective, recognising the complementarity and the coordinated work of the different mechanisms as a condition of the System’s success”.

The Guernica Group would like to warmly congratulate the awardees, for their leadership and exemplary commitment and of all the efforts they are devoting to ensure Colombia’s peace and reconciliation.

The 2018 Human Rights National Prize has been awarded to the NGO Proactiva Open Arms—which devotes countless efforts to fulfil the admirable and urgent work of rescuing refugees escaping armed conflict, persecution and poverty, from the Sea—; while the Journalism Prize has recognized the trajectory and human rights commitment of Helena Maleno. Mrs. Maleno, human rights investigator, part of Women’sLinkWorldWide and former MENA advisor of the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, is currently being investigated by Moroccan authorities after having alerted Maritime Rescue when immigrants informed her that they were in the sea attempting to reach the Spanish Coast.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Auditorio Caja de Música of Edificio Cibeles in Madrid, on 13 December 2018 at 8pm. This event will close with a concert featuring Adriana Viñuela Simón (soprano) and Elisa Rapado Jambrina (piano), who will sing and play pieces written by Antonio José, a republican composer murdered in Burgos few months after the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Obtaining a 20 euro humanitarian voucher is required to access the event. This amount can be transferred to the APDHE bank account ES56 0075 0446 4406 0021 2794, indicating the concept ‘Premios APDHE’ and the name and surname of the participant. Please be sure to RSVP for this event at 91 402 23 12 or

The Guernica Group will be part of this event and will support and accompany the awardees in this important occasion. We hope to see you all there.

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