A Dystopic Climate for Transitional Justice
MetadataShow full item record
Peace is not built with a declaration of 'Post-Conflict'. Further, while laws and policies for Transitional Justice may be ineffective, they are not benign. As assessed by Robert Muggah, the unintended consequences of interventions to mitigate situations of violence are seldom interrogated (2012, p. ix). With this research I argue that the present framework of Transitional Justice in Colombia creates new difficulties for responding to persistent urban violence in Medellin. As argued by Muggah (2012), Spear (2008), and Duffield (2007), among others, the impacts of systems intended to cushion a society’s transition from violence to peace are manifold. Richard Wilson (2008) speaks of peace-building in terms of recovering the everyday and resuming the task of living (p. 378). I want to draw attention to the obvious fact that the every day is not actually paused during transitions from conflict to peace. Society, in all its varied, contradictory parts, continues grappling with the task of living throughout its different stages of conflict resolution. Refusing to recognize continuous violence and victimization during the imposition of transitional systems, serves to exacerbate the vulnerability of already vulnerable citizens. It is my intention to draw attention to the resilience and capacity for coping and innovating that persists within vulnerable populations in conflicted societies. While the formal city remains incapable of facing or quelling ongoing urban violence, responses from elsewhere are arising. Despite the profound failings of the country's formal systems for Transitional Justice there is room for hope from outside the institutions, where initiatives and projects are being continuously born from necessity.