Friday, March 07, 2008

Adios Medellin! Hasta Ecuador

Today I leave Medellin, a city that has won my heart. Medellin reminds me of San Francisco. Yesterday there where large peace marches throughout Colombia and around the world. The march in Medellin had an estimated 15,000 participants and I walked the full route taking pictures, talking to to people and being moved to tears by a group of mothers who had lost loved ones. Click here to look at the pictures I took at the event. Much of the focus of the march was aimed at the paramilitaries, who have inflicted incredible violence on the people of this long suffering country. Take a look at this article to see a perspective you won´t find in the mainstream press, but represents the sentiments of many of the marchers. Compared to the march against FARC that I saw in Santa Marta in February, this one was represented a much more diverse cross section of Colombian society. Watching the demonstration against FARC, I was struck by the flawed logic of stating that they were against violence, yet that they were going to militarily eliminate FARC.
How can you end violence by using violence? Alfie, an International Relations student from Norway is pointing at the headline in the paper about the march. He is studying Spanish along with Joe, a Paramedic from New York, at one of the universities here.
They helped me figure out my signs that I proudly wore Yesterday.

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