The Festival of Memories


The Festival of Memories
February 24 – March 3, 2019



From February 24 to the first days of March 1997, the 17th Brigade and the Peasant Self-Defenders of Córdoba and Urabá (ACCU) carried out the first phase of two simultaneous army operations, Genesis and Cacarica respectively, which the military alleged constituted strategic attacks against the FARC guerrillas. Ultimately, the effects of these military actions forcibly displaced Afro-descendent communities of Cacarica and Salalqui to Turbo, Bocas del Atrato, and Panama.

After conversations were held between the affected populations and the presidential administrations of Ernesto Samper and then Andres Pastrana, a large group of villagers returned to their lands in 1999 as an act of civil resistance against the economic interests that used violence to affect land use policy in the territories.

After forming the Community Council of Communities of Self-determination, Life, and Dignity of Cacarica (CAVIDA), these families started a project with the aim of honoring the memory of their fellow villagers that were assassinated, disappeared and tortured, and the memory of the territory, its rainforests, catival swamps, water sources and mirrors destroyed by the lumber company Maderas del Darién. This project would be based on the principles of truth, liberty, justice, solidarity, and fraternity.


Today, as the armed conflict persists, as the dynamics of war take on new forms inherited from the paramilitaries, as the ever-expanding militarization of the territories continues to prove itself incapable of halting deforestation or guaranteeing the freedom of the Cacarica communities, CAVIDA with the support of the Justice and Peace Commission commemorates their 22nd year with the Festival of Memories #WeAreGenesis.

The nine-day Festival includes: the inauguration of the first physical campus of the University of Peace, created by the Justice and Peace Commission, and the proposal for environmental education, truth, and reconciliation, supported by diverse community processes, such as CAVIDA; the exploration of Environmental Routes, community-led eco-tourism projects, and the Forest of Memory; a panel discussion in the EcoVillage of Peace featuring former military members, ex-paramilitaries, ex-guerrillas, and those affected; the presentation of a sports-related proposal for truth, the Ubuntu Criollo in the lower Atrato and Antioquia; and the second cultural conference on memory.

What activities will take place?
• Exploration of Environmental Routes and Milestones
From February 24 to February 27, 2019.
• Meetings with memories and truths
From February 28 to March 3, 2019.
Dialogue between those affected and responsible to reconstruct memory, truth, and justice.

University of Peace, a commitment to the truth, a culture of peace, and socioenvironmental justice.

The Forest of Memory
The Ubuntu of Bajo Atrato and Antioquia

How can you participate?
You can join directly by participating in all or some of the activities as a hiker, planter, speaker, storyteller, or singer.

You can participate by sharing our call for support. With economic support for environmental and cultural management proposals.

And what are the costs?
Individual river transport: $60,000 from Turbo to Cacarica, round trip.
Food: $15,000 per day.

Registration is open until February 13. To register, send an email to the following

Sponsors: Communities of Self-Determination, Life, and Dignity of CAVIDA, Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission.

Co-sponsors: Sin Olvido. Sin Olvido Tierra. Contagio Multimedia. Naqyhy.