Last weekend Case and I went back to Granada, one of the municipalities we’re researching. We attended a meeting with a group writing the historic memory of the conflict in the town, and we also met again with the group that wants to attend Casey’s dissertation defense in Madison next year (we estimated costs, and they still want to come!).
But the event that was actually the most interesting was a public conversation on peace. It featured the Peace Minister of Antioquia (the state we’re in) talking with the rector of one of the universities in Medellin. The minister was passionate about the topic, encouraging the youth in the audience to own the peace process and bring conversation about it home to their families and community. He also had some interesting insight about what would happen to the FARC if they sign peace accords with the government, saying essentially that the guerrillas will negotiate their own freedom from punishment before they lay down arms.
“There won’t be a parade of guerrillas going to jail,” he said. “That’s impossible because by that route there is no peace.”
The event was hosted by one of the groups we’ve interviewed, Granada Siempre Nuestra (Granda Always Ours) in celebration of their 21st anniversary. It’s a group run by people from Granada who have left for Medellin, but want to help Granada continue to progress. They’ve helped displaced people return to their farms, and now they offer education programs for the youth in the municipality. They also offer to help students pay for college in exchange for the student then returning to Granada to put their education to use locally. It’s one of our favorite organizations, run by great people, and doing wonderful work.