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This is an article I wrote with my friends and colleagues Sabino Ormazábal and Juan Ibarrondo in August 2014. There was then, and there still is, a clear tendency according to which only certain victims deserved memory. We disagree wholeheartedly with such ideas which are clearly contrary to International Law. According to the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law, as adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 60/147 of 16 December 2005, the application and interpretation of these Basic Principles and Guidelines must be consistent with international human rights law and international humanitarian law and be without any discrimination of any kind or on any ground, without exception. As clear and simple as that. And these are the principles that establish what Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non Discrimination consist of.

In this article we say: “Memory is not history, but a subjective and collective construction of the past that depends to a considerable extent on feelings and it plays a central role in understanding the relevance that is attributed to certain facts in the present. This may be done by remembering things or forgetting them, as both are inherent aspects of memory. Memory is therefore an excercise on the facts of the past, carried out from the present, in order to attempt to influence the future that somebody wishes to construct.

Therefore, the role of history should not be to substitute memory, but to contribute -by applying a rigorous methodology, to the construction of an inclusive and plural collective memory and contribute to the formulation of an inclusive narrative based on critical analyses.

Orwell, in ‘1984’, stated that «Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past». Fortunately, reality is different and much more stubborn than all that”.

It is my intention to translate all my articles in full into English in due course. Once I do, I shall be publishing the full translation here. Until then, you can see the full article in its original Spanish version in the links below.

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