With the participation of 350 people, representatives of social, academic and cultural organizations, the World March for Peace and Nonviolence was launched today in Colombia.

During the event, the government of Bogotá publicly committed itself to promoting the initiative.

For Samuel Moreno, Mayor of Bogotá Capital District, the development of programs for peace and nonviolence is the best path toward guaranteeing the fulfillment of the fundamental rights of citizens. He stressed that his support for the World March is in keeping with a set of policies aimed at eradicating all forms of violence in the city. His administration is making efforts to do away with the kidnapping phenomenon in Colombia and develop the mechanisms of reconciliation and peace-building. Among those measures can be counted a program to eliminate violence against women.

Rafael de la Rubia, global coordinator of the March, stressed the fact that the crisis of the current system has already affected even banks, which only a few years ago were considered invulnerable. He pointed out that only the military industry doesn’t seem to have been affected by the current crisis. “All the governments, especially in Europe, speak all the time in favor of peace, but their military industry hasn’t stopped producing,” he stated.

The nuclear threat is a solid threat, even in countries in which it is thought to be a distant matter. It is a global threat, de la Rubia emphasized, but globalization also gives humanity the opportunity to act as one and organize actions on a global level such as the World March.

As a representative of the program to eliminate violence against women, the well-known actress Alejandra Borrero appeared, explaining that the project called “Not a single rose petal” seeks to bring about a city without violence toward women and girls. She summarized the moment by saying that “in 2000 we saw how the arrival of the new millennium was celebrated around the world; today we can see how the whole world is preparing to ask for peace and nonviolence.”

The event was carried out in an auditorium of the District Institute of Recreation and Sports, a department of city hall, thanks to a process of cooperation that is ongoing between the Humanist Movement, the organization World Without Wars, and the Bogotá mayor’s office.

Among those who attended the event, the presence of the following persons is worth noting: Gerolamo Schiavoni, Italian Ambassador to Colombia, Maria Sipos, Norwegian ambassador to Bogotá, Redepaz president Luis Emil Sanabria, Meta ex-governor Alan Jara, who for several years was a captive of the group FARC, Asfamipaz president Marlene Orjuela, the rock group Pornomotora, and representatives of the Pacifist Poetry and Short Story World Competition.

David Nassar, president of World Without Wars Colombia, finished up by reading the following message of Tomás Hirsch, Latin American World March spokesman, “Carry on, because soon dawn will be breaking in the Americas.”