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Riflessioni sul Perdono, sulla Dignità e sulla Riconciliazione

Jesus Tecú Osorio

1. I negoziati di pace, generalmente, sono incentrati sulle dimensioni politica ed economica. Quale è la Sua percezione della necessità di toccare aspetti più profondi e genuini della riconciliazione e come si può ottenere questo?

In my view, reconciliation is a process that begins with several remedies which include: acceptance of the truth; reparation (or restitution) for the harm caused to the victim; and the offender must repent not only with his face but from his heart. Then one can say that true reconciliation has been achieved. These measures would suffice in cases that are not of high impact, for example, a physical assault. Likewise, in a situation involving verbal aggression, a request for forgiveness could be accompanied by a promise to repair the harm, based on a true and heartfelt repentance, and then forgiveness ought to be granted. In cases of significant social impact, where a people or group have been exterminated or harmed, reconciliation is a process that goes beyond forgiveness. It is achieved when the parties agree on a way to lay the foundation for true reconciliation based on justice, truth, memory, reparation, restoration of dignity, and psychosocial support. No offender wants to face justice because they are afraid and they hope that reconciliation is achieved; a reconciliation based on reparation, impunity and that all will be forgotten. In reality, the life of a human being can not be bought or negotiated with an amount of money. Nonetheless, material things (houses, land, etc.) have a price, as can the prejudice that results from the loss of a family member. Many offenders say: what good does it do to remember the past, it doesn’t benefit us in anyway, if anything it just brings confrontation and revenge. The truth is that when relatives of victims (survivors) seek justice, they are remembering the events that occurred, and thereby taking the initiative to restore the dignity of their loved ones, because those who dared to act recklessly yesterday can do the same tomorrow, affecting us and our children.

2. Quali sono le condizioni nelle quali, al di là dell’assicurare gli interessi della parti in conflitto, può essere stabilito un processo incentrato su un senso di equità e dignità?

To ensure the interests of all the parties in the process, the justice system must have coercive power and the parties to the conflict must feel psychologically compelled to respect the system and to bring all of the issues to the table truthfully, so that the victim is ensured a right to personal dignity.

3. Quanto il perdono è essenziale alla dimensione della riconciliazione? Alla radice della Sua cultura politica e/o della Sua fede religiosa quali sono i principi che implicano o escludono il perdono? Quali versi o detti che fanno parte del Suo personale patrimonio spirituale possono, nella sua opinione, avere un significato universale

As I mentioned above, forgiveness can be applied to a case of verbal aggression, while reconciliation is a process that goes beyond forgiveness, it is based on reparatory justice, psychosocial rehabilitation and deep repentance from the heart on the part of all of the parties.
Forgiveness is a concept that is deeply rooted in my culture, the Mayan culture, because we believe in heartfelt public repentance coupled with a promise to repair harm. In terms of forgiveness from a religious viewpoint in the Guatemalan context, we take into account the example of Christ’s life, as he was offended to a much greater degree than we have been and still he was able to forgive. According to our religion, Christ’s forgiveness on the cross is the model that we should follow. In a country like Guatemala, the people have nearly succeeded in following this model. We leave the events that have occurred in the hands of God, with the belief that he is the only one who should judge and punish human actions (even more so when the authorities responsible for administering justice do not resolve the issues). It is important to keep in mind that forgetting is impunity, while memory is truth, justice, reconciliation and reparation for the harms caused.

4. Il perdono richiede qualche forma di pentimento da parte di coloro a cui il perdono viene offerto? Il perdono ha condizioni o è senza condizioni?

This depends on the situation, if forgiveness is offered repeatedly and publicly, then it is unconditional. However, if forgiveness is based on compensatory measures, then it incorporates agreed upon conditions. For example, a promise not to repeat the same error, or take further reprisals against the victim.
Based on your experience on working with reconciliation and forgiveness what are the structure and activities you would suggest for a universal council on reconciliation?
Reconciliation is a process that goes beyond forgiveness, it is achieved when the parties reach a positive relationship. Typically, it requires a mediator experienced in the field, who must be sensible, emotionally mature, strong, objective, and never take sides. The tribunal must also have coercive power, or the ability to legitimately enforce obligations on parties found to be guilty, in accordance with agreed upon conventions. That is to say, the obligations imposed by the tribunal must be impartial, and directed at seeking truth and justice within the context of reconciliation.

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