“Life is sacred,” “Who are we? Colombia” and “We are the seed of peace” were some of the slogans chanted by Colombians who gathered in Brooklyn on March 8. They walked over the Brooklyn Bridge and reached City Hall to rally, watched by the police.
Cepeda read a press release sent by Bogotá’s ex-mayor Antanas Mockus, who originally organized the event in the Colombian capital. Similar marches are being held in a number of cities around the world.
“Death is an interruption of a work of art… We must respect life and learn to love… Life is sacred because it is unique,” were phrases included in the ex-mayor’s press release.
In the metropolitan area of New York, Colombian activists who usually gather to welcome the country’s traditional politicians, such as former President Álvaro Uribe, did not attend. This march was organized by Colombian youths, mostly college students.
“It is good to feel the vibration of Colombians who want peace. If we all support peace, we will achieve it by creating awareness,” said María Isabel Nieto, Consul General of Colombia in New York.
Ricardo Prado said that he attended the march to back a social movement that seeks peace in Colombia, adding: “Our main enemy has been the State, which has not given political space to other trends. That is why people take up arms to fight inequality.”
Nicolás Linares, from Poets in New York, said that he marched to support the peace dialogue because “I want to have the hope to live in my country without war.”
Mónica Lorza, from the Movimiento Humanista (Humanist Movement) in New York, said that “our organization supports peace in Colombia and around the world. Our nation must find a way out of armed conflict through peaceful means.”
In the background, cumbia music played, and participants embraced in solidarity and for peace in Colombia.
[Editor’s note: Delegations from the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, are meeting in Havana to seek an end to their conflict, disarm the guerrilla group and resolve issues of punishment for atrocities committed on both sides over decades of insurgency.]
(From: Voices of NY)