Title: The other victims: the ruins of Bojayá massacre. Recommendations for the interpretation of ruins of the Church of San Pablo Apóstol and surroundings, in the municipality of Bellavista la Vieja (Old Bellavista), the epicenter of the massacre in Bojayá, Colombia on May 2, 2002.
To speak of Bojayá massacre is to touch a deep wound in the heart of Colombia. The internal conflict over land between paramilitaries, guerrillas and the State has as its main victims the civilian population, especially the poorest and minorities who live in the most remote and hidden places in the country. Although, in the frame of this situation, the territory is also considered as a victim of the internal violence (Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica, 2017).
The Bojayá massacre is a case that opens up questions about why conserve and interpret the ruins of places that are born from traumatic experiences and that become heritage because they are a necessity for memory. This case shows the need to delve deeply into the history of trauma in order to approach an adequate interpretation of the debris that remained in the middle of the jungle, and that is necessary to support the healing and reparation processes of the victims.
This paper also explores how to make a balanced interpretation of the ruins at a time when Colombia is going through a post-conflict stage and implementation of the peace process, signed with the guerrilla group the FARC in 2016. This component gives the interpretation new nuances, since that it must be careful, without taking a position, taking care not to privilege the discourse of the violent, armed groups or the State, and that it has as a priority the narrative of the victims, which in the framework of the peace accords are the innocents who paid the price of war and must be repaired. In this way, the peace agreements become a legal framework that must be consulted to be precise when it comes to taking care of the rights of the parties with the messages or interpretive elements that are recommended, since any history and approach can help to consolidate peace or to awaken hatred again against the groups that are now demobilized, or to re-victimize those who lived through the events.
This document explores the history of the Bojayá massacre, what happened there and what ruins remained, and above all how those ruins can be interpreted to support the processes of resilience and peacebuilding in Colombia.
Topic: Heritage Interpretation