Dealing with the Past

The continuity of the denial of the genocide in Srebrenica

On March the 30th, 2010. the Parliament of Serbia adopted the Declaration on condemning the crime in Srebrenica.

After a long debate in the Parliament, when we could hear fascist statements from the members of Radical party, Democratic party of Serbia and Serbian Progressive party, the members of the Parliament adopted the Declaration on condemning the crimes in Srebrenica.

Chile: Gandhi’s Insights Gave People Courage to Defy Chile’s Dictatorship

On September 11, 1973, the Chilean junta, backed by the CIA and the Nixon Administration, overthrew the democratically elected government of Socialist President Salvador Allende. Priscilla Hayner, in her book Unspeakable Truths, Confronting State Terror and Atrocity (2001) outlines the devastating impact: “The regime espoused a virulent anticommunism to justify its repressive tactics, which included mass arrests, torture (estimates of the number of people tortured range from 50,000 to 200,000), killings, and disappearances.” The dictatorship assassinated, tortured, and exiled thousands of political opponents and visionaries.

The challenge of protesting

People protest for many reasons but often it is because we are confronted with a situation to which we must respond and take a stand. The reality we face - be that our own or that of others - pushes us to act/react/challenge/change what we are experiencing and seeing. We forget to take into serious consideration the possible consequences of any such choice. Positive consequences are often empowering. Negative consequences can be disempowering. We need to think about them in advance to be prepared for the next steps but also so we are not surprised by them and suffer even more stress.

Disappearances are not silent

"Disappearances" for political or ethnical reasons do not occur by chance. During periods of violence they occur as an institutional practice carried out by the state, armed groups, paramilitaries or other kinds of legal or illegal associations. Why are people made to disappear? What are some of the methods used to make people disappear? What is the impact these disappearances have at individual, family, community, country and international levels? Who is responsible for them? Why are they covered by an apparent silence?

Report of Dealing with the Past at Ohrid Seminar 2004

The last day of the seminar was devoted to the programme, Dealing With the Past, organized by programme staff person Roberta Bacic.


Roberta presented some of the theoretical concepts we have been developing around the experiences we have been looking into.

Dealing with the past of war and violence

Some reflections on what we mean by dealing with the past

If we are war resisters and do strongly believe that war is a crime against humanity, then we have no alternative but to approach the issues, dilemmas, pain and c

Dealing with the past in Kosov@?

Howard Clark

The past has been a battlefield in Kosovo for the past century. Since Serbia's bloody conquest of Kosovo in 1912, the rival “victim” historical narratives of the Serbian and Albanian communities in the territory have fuelled cycles of ethnic domination and sometimes atrocities. What people choose to remember or know and what people choose to honour or celebrate continue to shape the future.

Systematic forced disappearance is a crime against humanity and is not subject to statutes of limitations

Susi Bascon

During the last three years, Peace Brigades International (PBI) has been providing an international presence in Mexico for human rights defenders whose lives and political space have been under threat as a result of their struggle for human rights. At the request of local NGOs, PBI set up two teams of international volunteers: one in Mexico City and one in the state of Guerrero.

The legacy of disappearances

Dr Ruby Osorio

Thirty years after the military coup in Chile, one of its principal "humanitarian legacies" continues to be the task of working out the pain of the unforgettable memories left by the merciless disappearances. Much has been written and is known about the devastating impact that someone's disappearance can have on an individual, a family and a community.

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