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  HOME | Colombia (Click here for more)

Thousands March in Silence in Support of Peace in Bogota

BOGOTA - Thousands of university students participated in a silent march for peace in Bogota on Wednesday evening, after Colombians rejected, through a referendum, an agreement signed by the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrillas.

Colombian Interior Minister, Juan Fernando Cristo, post-conflict minister Rafael Pardo and Victims Unit director Alan Jara also participated in the march.

The protest began in small groups that walked towards the Planetarium, their meeting point, amid shouts of "I want peace, I want love, I want agreements please."

Dozens of people came out in support of peace in other Colombian cities as well, such as Cali, Medellin, Barranquilla and Cartagena.

On Sunday, in a referendum on the peace agreement, 50.21 percent Colombians had voted 'no', while 49.78 percent had voted 'yes'.

The referendum has steeped in uncertainty the end of a 52-year conflict, announced on Sep. 26 by President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londoņo Echeverri at a ceremony in Cartagena.

Protesters began a 1.7 km (1.05 miles) silent march from the Planetarium to the Bolivar square, holding up their fists and white flags along with candles.

Former Senator Piedad Cordoba, who mediated with the FARC for the release of kidnapped politicians, soldiers and police, told EFE that she was happy with the outcome of the plebiscite because it led to the march Wednesday.

"This is how the peasant lives, amid continuing violence, hoping that one day there will be peace. And now that hope is broken by idiocy, imbecility, not recognizing that life is always better than death, and peace will always be better even if it is imperfect than a perfect war," a protester Julio Cesar Benavides, who was unhappy with the outcome of the referendum, told EFE.
 

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