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Speeches in the Signing of Agreements

Signing Ceremony for the Cooperation Agreement with the Ombudsman’s Office

Acknowledgment Speech by CVR President

Having democracy and the rule of law definitively and genuinely take root in our country is a task that demands deep patience and generous selflessness. Patience because democracy is not a product that can be pointed at or taken at a certain moment to declare that the work has been finished. As we know, democracy is above all a way of life and hence, it is generated subtly and it is affirmed gradually in acts, in values, in the way of thinking of each one of us. Those who are committed to work on its behalf must, therefore, remember that they have a permanent building task of their own.

The Confirmation of Democracy demands from us selflessness too, because democracy, a way of life, is fundamentally a collective creation. The respect to its norms, the efficacy and justice of the institutions, the set of values that support it and give it sense, exist only in all those who participate in it, acting as citizens, include such members, institutions and values in their own daily activity. Nevertheless, as nobody can attribute herself or himself the merit of having created or consolidated democracy, it is also Truth that democracy has not come up from a mysterious continuous generation, but it requires the decided participation of certain institutions and the moral commitment of those who temporarily direct hem.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has the illusion, or even more, the conviction that complying with its mission will mean a contribution to that enormous task. That contribution will not be other than cleaning the ground of falseness and guilty silence on our recent collective tragedy. By doing so, we wish to consider restoring a central value without which there is no possible rule of law: absolute respect to human life and dignity.

This is an enormous task we cannot comply without the generosity and selflessness of some institutions that have already gone some way in this common purpose. The agreement we sign today, is, this, a token of to the Ombudsman’s Office democratic commitment. This office is an institution that thanks its rectitude and independence, has become one of the pillars of our yearned peaceful and democratic life.

The Ombudsman’s office has manifested from the start its determination of contributing with the commission charged to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Not surprisingly, this mission of exposing truth and restoring justice, is precisely the spirit that had encouraged the Ombudsman’s office from the start.

This is how the Ombudsman’s office, as we know, has already made some way, not only in terms of information collected on human rights abuse, but also in what regards the design of a method to deal with these serious affairs and in installing nationwide coverage. This and other examples of progress are those it generously offers to make available to the Truth Commission through the agreement we now sign and that we consider fundamental to the development of our activities.

The making of democratic life, as I said a few minutes ago, is by definition a collective creation. It is also a work that will be consolidated only through dialogue, agreement, and cooperation among those who feel concerned. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is convinced that this agreement is possible, because in our country there are people and institutions that are capable of acting patiently and selflessly. The Ombudsman’s office initiative that materializes in this agreement is an example the Truth Commission members thank deeply.

Salomon Lerner Febres
Truth and Reconciliation Commission