Mauricio gave an impassioned speech to the assembled communities. He explained the relevance of human rights, international humanitarian law to the current situation.
He also explained the obligations of the state and the legal processes by which there could be redress for the violations of human rights which have happened. The Verification Commission would collect testimonies from those who have been affected by the recent violence and these testimonies would oblige the Colombian state to investigate and guarantee the security of the communities. The independence of the Verification Commission would be a check on the official version. Mauricio spoke of the historic importance of this occasion, never before in the history of the armed conflict had testimonies of violations of human rights been collected.
There is a great deal of fear in the communities of possible repercussions should they make testimonies and due to the complex nature of the armed conflict and the dynamics of power in the region, there is little trust of state institutions. (For this reason we have not included photos of members of the communities which might make them identifiable).
Later that day a military helicopter flew overhead with two black bags suspended beneath.