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The truth as dynamic for change



Complaint about the assassination of Brothers Servando, Julio, Miguel Angel and Fernando

07/03/2005: Spain

The International Forum for Truth and Justice in the Great Lakes Region of Africa presented to the “Audiencia Nacional de Madrid (Spain)” this past February 22, 2005 a complaint against high level officials of the Rwandan government, for the assassination of 9 Spanish citizens (6 missionaries and 3 volunteers from “Médicos del Mundo”), among whom are our Brothers Servando Mayor, Julio Rodríguez, Miguel Angel Isla and Fernando de la Fuente, killed in Bugobe (Democratic Republic of Congo) on October 31, 1996.
Signing this complaint are victims and families of Spanish and Rwandan victims – including the families of our four Brothers as well as exiled Hutu and Tutsi witnesses who are presently under protection; Nobel Peace Prize Winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel; United States African-American congresswoman Cynthia McKenney; the City councils of the Spanish victims; Nobel Peace Prize candidate Juan Carrero, as well as several Spanish and international NGOs.

The initiative of this International Forum is based on two lines of action:
a) The strategy of TRUTH, centered on the presentation of a CRIMINAL COMPLAINT against those principally responsible for the aforementioned crimes against humanity. Everyone agrees that reconciliation in the Great Lakes region of Africa will not be possible until the hidden truths of this drama are brought to light. They are inspired by the principles of non-violence and by the central role of the truth as a dynamic for change in the same way that Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. demonstrated. This initiative has prioritized two central ideas: empathizing with the victims and their families (giving them recognition and empowerment) and the work with the experience of the repentant Tutsis and Hutus.
b) The strategy of Dialogue. The International Forum also wanted to facilitate a space for open and honest dialogue among leaders of organizations of Rwandan victims and leaders of organizations of the defense of human rights of exiled Hutus and Tutsis. This initiative has also prioritized two central ideas: on the one hand, the work of the empathy of sharing; on the other hand, the channeling of grief toward a common ground and the experience of visions of a shared future.

According to the members of the International Forum for Truth and Justice in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, this conflict is not only a story of the struggle for power among extreme and criminal elements, but also, and above all, a story of pillaging and the fight for control of the exploitation of the rich natural resources of the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, an initiative supervised not only by local organizations, but also by many large multinational western enterprises mainly from the United States, Canada and Europe. A large part of this human and ecological drama has been deliberately hidden and, often, strategically manipulated.

This action of justice, in the words of its promoters, “seeks to end the situation of impunity, make public the hidden truth of this conflict and contribute in this way to bring reconciliation to the people and villages of this area of Central Africa.”
More information can be found on the web site: http://www.veritasrwandaforum.org

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