SAN SALVADOR – In El Salvador on Thursday some 450,000 people turned out nationwide to participate in the March for Life, Peace and Justice and reject violence, President Salvador Sanchez Ceren said in his speech at the end of the demonstration in this capital.
The Salvadoran leader, who was among those participating in the march, said that “the law will be enforced with firmness to destroy violence,” but he also extended a hand “to those who may decide to stop killing and attacking peace” in the Central American country.
Sanchez Ceren delivered his address hours after a clash between gangmembers and the National Civil Police in central La Libertad province. Eight alleged gangmembers lost their lives in the shootout.
“Today, we’ve made into reality what all of us always say: that together we’re capable of facing any challenge the country has,” said Sanchez Ceren, urging the marchers to “be tolerant, know how to understand that in life we’re all indispensable for the achievement of peace.”
“This is a beautiful day for the Salvadoran people, full of love, the streets of El Salvador were clothed in love and love is the sign of peace,” the president said.
He promised measures to ensure the “effective reinsertion” into society for those “who repent of the violent acts, of their mistakes” and said that the government “will be at their side if their commitment is firm.”
He also announced that, as part of the “fight against crime,” soon his administration will present “the law for reinsertion of gangs and people at risk, which will be approved by the Legislative Assembly.”
Sanchez Ceren emphasized that “with this massive attendance we’ve proven that there are more of us in El Salvador who love life, peace and justice.”
Meanwhile UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a message to El Salvador that was issued at the end of the march and in which he said that for him it is “an ... honor to participate in this event today.”
And San Salvador Auxiliary Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chavez, who was at the march, said that the attendance “exceeded the expectations of those who organized it and promoted it.”
The peaceful demonstration was called by the National Council for Citizen Security and Coexistence of the Salvadoran government and was staged simultaneously in all the country’s provinces.