Wilson Lopez, the permanent secretary of the Ibero- American Psychology federation, has said that Colombian psychologists will work on the creation of new cultural identity models once peace has been attained.

In an interview given to The Havana Reporter during the VII International Psychology Convention 2016, Lopez said that the elimination of the inner enemy from the psyche of Colombians will require the creation of psychological strategies that stem from sport, culture and patriotic pride.

Wilson Lopez, the permanent secretary of the Ibero- American Psychology ederation, has said that Colombian psychologists will work on the creation of new cultural identity models once peace has been attained.On the closing day of the international conference the specialist delivered a lecture entitled “Contributions of psychology to peace” in which he stressed that one of the principal problems faced is that neither the FARC nor the government have given sufficient consideration to psychological variants implicit in the process. He said that a forging of new ways of understanding and feeling was needed.

In his opinion the constant labeling by the media of “good guys and bad guys” had, from a psychological perspective, induced feelings of fear, mistrust, shame, guilt and hate, upon which it would be difficult to establish new cultural concepts.

He added that this panorama formed part of what ensured that victims needed years to recover.

He said that, on the other hand, in work with many of the FARC members, the risk of assassination on standing down led to doubts about the process.

In the academic’s view, another issue arising from the peace process for psychology was the violent manner in which reconciliation was being managed.

Lopez, who is also a professor at the Pontificia Javeriana University of Bogota indicated that psychological recovery could be speeded up if both parties to the conflict could ask for forgiveness.

He said that such attitudes were very difficult to cultivate in this regard, given that there were politicians and militarists opposed to peace because they were beneficiaries of the war.

Almost 60 years of confrontations between the Government and guerrilla forces has left Colombia with some 8,000,000 victims, including 200,000 --predominantly civilian -- deaths.

There have been almost 25,000 forced disappearances and kidnappings reported to date and some 4,000,000 displacements.

The presentation by the Colombian specialist was made on the last day of the seventh psychology gathering in which delegates from México, Brazil, U.S., Colombia, Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico and Chile participated.

Also known as Homins 2016, the event incorporated a full week of activities, including the International Symposium on Clinical Psychology and Health and round table talks on vulnerabilty, risk-management and psycho-social recovery from emergencies and disasters.

Delegates also discussed the confrontation of poverty, inequality, illiteracy and epidemics in Latin America.

Alexis Lorenzo, the president of the Cuban Society of Psychology emphasized that the gathering had served to demonstrate Cuba’s work in the discipline, facilitate professional exchanges and to promote dialogue between psychologists from different countries.

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