Home » Perspective. A journey to the bottom of the Thousand Days War

Perspective. A journey to the bottom of the Thousand Days War

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On October 17, 1989, in Santander, the first armed clashes of the Thousand Days War took place.a warlike conflict that spread through different departments of Colombia, leaving more than 100,000 dead after 1,130 days clashes between liberals and conservatives.

And these days on the Institutional Channel the documentary “Thousand days. The war that led to the loss of Panama”, about this warlike confrontation that lasted for a little over three years and that culminated in leaving a country affected, socially, economically, politically and even geographically, with one of the greatest losses on the part of of its territory: the separation of the department of Panama.

The idea of ​​creating the documentary was born in 2022, when they worked on the production of “Las gestas del tiempo”, where the chapter of this war was discussed. “But we knew that we owed a debt to the audience to delve into that war, which was perhaps the bloodiest the country has faced,” Lina Moreno, director of the Institutional Channel, told EL NUEVO SIGLO.

“That is why we decided to work on the documentary ‘Mil días’. It is a great project, with which we believe that we are fulfilling and leaving a lesson to all Colombians”, Moreno said.

reflections of the documentary

Regarding the greatest reflection left by the making of the documentary, the director assured that “sadly historians agree that Colombia, despite having spent more than 120 years of this civil war, is a country that continues in a conflict of two sides. It is a country that continues to solve problems with weapons and that continues to see how many times political interests are above the interests of the people, of the citizen”.

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“But the idea is that the new generations see with hope how we can solve everything through dialogue, and to be empathetic towards each other, to respect each other. The idea is that, as the historian Nicolás Pernett says in the documentary, a collective therapy for anger management is carried out. That’s what we think we need in this country. Because we have potential, but you have to know how to manage and resolve conflicts”, highlights the director of the Channel.

The loss of Panama

Moreno recalls that one of the consequences of this war was the loss of Panama precisely at the time of the war. “That is what historians have told us. In the documentary that is the conclusion that remains. There were a thousand days – actually more than a thousand days, because this war lasted 1,130 days – of this war that bled the country dry and that led to the loss of the territory of Panama”.

“It was a war that left Colombia in a political, economic and social crisis with multiple consequences. That it extended, unfortunately, until the 20th century, could have been avoided. The idea was to build a better present and a better future. That is what this documentary narrates. The reasons, the context, the consequences are understood, which persist and which bled the country dry for three years; that now it is not bloody but we are still facing each other”, remarks Moreno.

He emphasizes that in that war there was no winner. “Basically all that was left was a polarization that is still being seen. Polarization of political parties. There is no exact conclusion that says: ‘here, on this day, the war died’. No, they stopped facing each other and reflections remained, they were learning. And the same ones who were included in the war were giving up that fight that did not lead to any path. That was what allowed us to tell this documentary.”

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long investigation

Moreno assures that it took them a long time to do the investigation. “Here the support of Señal Memoria was fundamental; We chose two or three historians who are experts on the subject of the Thousand Days’ War and it also took us approximately eight months to make this documentary. We have the support of the National Museum, the Luis Ángel Arango Library, throughout the preliminary and investigative phase; of the Film Heritage Foundation, of the Pilot Public Library of Medellín. There we find photographs, documents, books, letters, even clothing from the time”.

“We used all the possible material that we had made for ‘Las gestas del tiempo’, a novel format that is our own, an original idea of ​​Canal Institucional, in which we recreate through fiction some moments of the war. We also took those and included them in the documentary, to make it more vivid, ”he related.

Then tours were made to be able to record from different locations that had a preponderance, and also include historians, from other cities such as Bucaramanga. “Santander had a leading role and we went there to do that. We went to Panama… It’s a very complete documentary, in which what really cost us the most was condensing and gathering all that information in just one hour. It gave for three deliveries, approximately, but we knew that our goal was to achieve, in one hour, leave very well informed about the War of a Thousand Days ”, he explained.

learn from history

“What we want with the documentary is to say what the war was, because history is to tell it, to learn from it, and when I say to learn from it, it is not just knowing the dates or the number of people killed, or anything like that. Of course it is important, but above all it is to have a calmer and more hopeful education and look towards the future”, added Moreno.

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“What we want with this documentary is for us to know that war does not lead to any path; to nobody. That, on the contrary, it is useless, that the only one that loses is the country, and we all lose,” concluded Moreno.

When and where to see it

The documentary will be presented today, Sunday, January 29 at 8:00 p.m., on the screen of the Institutional Channel, and on Monday, January 30 at 7:00 p.m. It can also be found on the Institutional Channel’s Youtube, where it will be while carries out the procedure so that in approximately two months, it can be found on RTVC Play, which is another brand of the Colombian Public Media System.

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