Over One Million March Against Terrorism in Colombia
Over one million Colombians marched from the Amazon jungle outpost of Leticia to the Caribbean city of Cartagena to demand liberation of the country’s kidnap victims from Leftist terrorists.
People attend a protest against violence and kidnapping, in Medellin July 5, 2007. Hundreds of thousands of Colombians headed for the streets on Thursday to show outrage at last week’s news that 11 provincial politicians had been killed while held hostage by leftist rebels. (REUTERS/Albeiro Lopera)
Popular President Alvaro Uribe led the protesters wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Unconditional freedom now!”
USA Today reported:
More than a million people marched through Colombia’s major cities Thursday and drivers honked horns in unison in a mass protest to demand the immediate liberation of the country’s kidnap victims.
In all, some 3,000 Colombians are being held by kidnappers, according to the anti-abduction citizens’ group Pais Libre. Those being held include former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three U.S. defense contractors in the hands of leftist rebels.
Thursday’s protest was organized after leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, said last week that 11 state lawmakers the rebels had held for more than five years were killed in a “crossfire.”
Pro-US President Alvaro Uribe led the march against the terrorists. His father was assassinated by FARC guerillas during a 1983 kidnap attempt.
Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe, left, listnes to his wife Lina Moreno during a mass to demand the release of kidnapped people in Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, July 5, 2007. Uribe led hundreds of thousands of people that flooded the streets of Colombia’s major cities in a mass protest organized after rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, announced last week that 11 state lawmakers it had held for more than five years were killed. At the middle in background is Colombia’s Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo. (AP Photo/William Fernando Martinez)
The BBC reported that this was a rare national unity protest against the FARC terrorists who are known to be supported by the Chavez government.
Colombian demonstrators light candles during a protest against lawmakers killed by leftist rebels at Bolivar square in Bogota July 3, 2007. (REUTERS/Carlos Duran)
And… Here is President Uribes’s response to Congress…
“We are not going to allow our relationship with the United States to become that of Master and Colombia as the servile republic”
“We are loyal and sincere, we comply with this alliance with the United States”
“Why U.S. Congress did not protest in 2000 and 2002 when the country was in hands of guerrillas and paramilitary forces, and now that Colombia is coming loose from that grip they are horrorized?
“We are not telling the United States to look after Colombia as its only solid ally left in Latin America; we are instead telling the United States to respect Colombia”
Robert Mayer has the full text.
Here’s a parting shot…
Colombian Catholic Cardinals wave during a protest against violence and kidnappings in Bogota July 5, 2007. Hundreds of thousands of Colombians headed for the streets on Thursday to show outrage at last week’s news that 11 provincial politicians had been killed while held hostage by leftist rebels. (REUTERS/Carlos Duran)