Thousands of Colombians call for an end to violence

World Today

Columbia

Thousands of people took to the streets on Sunday in 40 Colombian cities calling for an end to violence.
It comes after Colombia’s Government and leftist rebels agreed to work together to remove landmines, left from more than 50 years of armed conflict.
Michelle Begue filed this report from Columbia.

Thousands of Colombians call for an end to violence

Thousands of Colombians call for an end to violence

Thousands of people took to the streets on Sunday in 40 Colombian cities calling for an end to violence.

Chanting “Let’s cure ourselves of hate,” Former Mayor of Bogota, Antanas Mockus urged citizens to respect human life.

“Life is not Liberal, Conservative, Communist or Socialist. Life is sacred, it is for all of us, long live life,” said Antanas Mockus, former Bogota mayor

Some political groups challenged the protest. Former President Alvaro Uribe, said the march was being financed by the government and was a political stunt to support the ongoing peace process. A claim that
President Juan Manuel Santos denied on Sunday at the rally.

“I would have come here had it only been 20 people because this is an important cause, “life”, this isn’t politics, this isn’t against anybody, this is in favor of the most important thing we have “life,” said Juan Manuel Santos, Colombian President.

Participants did their best to steer away from politics, some holding signs that read “I’m not choosing political sides, I choose life.”

Despite the criticisms and controversies, 20 cities around the world are supporting Colombian citizens in their message for peace.

“It is important because we want to plant the seed for the future, open the doors of what our forefathers taught us, a life full of peace and spirituality,” said Gucxica Nica Muiqui, an indigenous leader.

The mayor of Bogota urged all citizens to participate in the March for Life. The demonstrators seek to end the violence in Colombia and unite different political groups to promote the message that “life is sacred.”

There’s hope Colombia may be closer to ending 50 years of armed conflict between the government and the FARC rebel group. Whether the on-going peace talks in Havana bear fruit, demonstrators said they are doing their part to stop Colombia’s violence.