Thompson Reuters Foundation, Bogota, Colombia – Alan Jara, a native of Colombia who was kidnapped and kept in chains in a jungle camp for more than 7 years, now is the head of the governmental reparation body that is giving compensation to approximately 8 million victims of the country’s five-decade war. Despite his grave suffering, he has decided to forgive his captors.
“Not to forgive would keep me captive and not allow me to get rid of the anger and move on,” he said. “For peace to exist, Colombians have no option but to forgive.”
After nearly four years of peace talks, President Juan Manuel Santos’ government and the FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) announced late on Wednesday they had reached a final peace accord to end the country’s war. The half-century guerrilla war, one of the world’s longest-running armed conflicts, has killed at least 220,000 people and driven millions of others from their homes. The accord must still be approved by voters.