The social destruction resulting from seven-decades of armed conflict places Colombia among the top countries in human rights violations in the Americas. Advocates for kidnapping victims in Colombia believe that survival stories or testimonios present a possibility for generating social awareness in the general society that could lead to social change. Through textual analysis, tracing the circulation of three testimonios, and interviews with Colombian university students and members of NGOs, this paper explores whether testimonios produced in the Colombian context by political elites and victims of kidnapping serve as vehicles to increase social awareness. Initial interviews reveal that though there is a perceived need to raise social awareness about the plight of the victims of the armed conflict; testimonios by former politicians who were kidnapped are not considered effective tools to instigate social change because these testimonios are perceived as commercial endeavors in service of political agendas.
File-Muriel, María del Pilar
"An Exploration of the Social Effectiveness of Political Kidnapping Testimonios in Colombia,"
Journal of Contemporary Anthropology:
1, Article 2.
Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jca/vol4/iss1/2