in Signing of Agreements
Signing of Agreement with Asociación Civil Transparencia
Speech by TRC President
Revaluing Civil Society is one of the great changes produced
in the world in the last decades. It is hard to pigeonhole
this broad phenomenon of civil society in just one definition.
However, there is consensus in accepting that we cannot speak
of a truly vigorous civil society where citizen apathy reigns
and where the management of every public affair is left in
the hands of state authorities. Oftentimes it is through
a nefarious experience – the suffering of what Octavio
Paz called the authoritarian pest- that a community becomes
aware of the importance of civil society. That has precisely
happened among us: a country that remained doorman for decades
of state power and confused by serious economic failure and
by a sudden violence wave, tolerating once more the instauration
of an authoritarian regime. Once this experience concluded,
we now know that the way to conquer peace and development
requires to make a fundamental effort among others, to take
over our own problems and to seek within our own community
our exit ways. This means going from conformity among a passive
set of citizens to concern among an active group of citizens,
who desire to participate, assume challenges and responsibilities.
The building of a healthy civil society requires from the
participation of every citizen. Some of them have already started
this task grouped in many different ways. Among the groups
that have been doing so, Asociacion Civil Transparencia, with
which we sign a cooperation agreement today, stands out for
its short but brilliant path.
We can highlight many implicit values in the civic presence
of Transparencia. Among them voluntary participation is enormously
interesting, since it is one of the pillars in which the most
robust democracies of the world are supported. Participating
is building, it means offering one’s own strengths and
talents to serve all. At the same time, participating in civic
interest causes is like placing dikes against power, not to
deny it but to help keep it within constitutional boundaries.
Voluntary participation is one of the most concrete ways in
which politics is rescued from the environment of constituted
powers and cliques to become a daily practice. The frequent
claim of turning democracy in a way to coexist becomes specifically
real among participating citizens.
For the Truth Commission this agreement is particularly important,
because it permit us to progress towards one of the central
goals of our work: achieving the truth to help us build a more
democratic and fair society, in which Peruvians relate equally
and in which respect for each other is a principle, a norm
and a routine instead of being the exception.
This ideal needs not be confined to the category of illusion.
It can and must become a real and tangible achievement and
to do so we expect to obtain support from the enthusiastic
and generous youth belonging to Asociación Civil Transparencia.
Thanks to their support we will be able to deliver the country
a broad message: the invitation to participate in this process
of seeking truth and reflecting on our collective errors, convinced
that Peruvians can communicate more frankly and directly and,
thus, become a genuine and national community.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission deeply thanks Asociación
Civil Transparencia’s selflessness and spirit of cooperation.
Its achievements allow us to trust in the relationship we formalize
today, which will permit us to render important services to
the whole country.
Salomon Lerner Febres
Truth and Reconciliation Commission