Bogotá, Sep 27 (EFE).- Around 14,000 Indigenous people from all parts of the country marched through the streets of Bogotá on Wednesday, joined by trade unionists, workers, and students, to “support the reforms proposed by the National Government” and to demand more action in the face of escalating violence against their peoples.
The Indigenous communities began to arrive on Monday to participate in the demonstration and seek to establish a dialogue table with the Government in the coming days, they crowded the Plaza de Bolivar, as expected.
The peaceful march stood out for the massive presence of children and for the people carrying each Indigenous council flag. However, the batons and vuvuzelas united them.
“We are not marching in favor of President Gustavo Petro, but in favor of the reforms proposed by the National Government that will benefit all the indigenous peoples of Colombia,” Guillermo Cabrales, a member of the Human Rights Council of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), told Efe.
With banners that read “We mobilize for life and territory” or “For a territory in peace and harmony for indigenous families,” as well as chants such as “For my race, for my land!”, the demonstrators gradually arrived at the heart of Bogotá, where a musical performance awaited them.
“I ask Petro to continue with the laws he has imposed so that the Senate approves and we have the rights we are entitled to,” Jose Fernandez, an authority from the Huellas territory, belonging to the department most affected in recent times by human rights violations, Cauca, explained to Efe.
“Making a positive change”.
But the indigenous people were not alone. Unions such as the General Labor Confederation and the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores, workers, students, and politicians from the ruling party, including ministers and cabinet members, joined the march to support the health, agricultural, pension, and education reforms.
Banners such as “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world” or “Decent and dignified work now” were present at the march.
“We are speaking out to support the government’s proposals and make a positive change because there are parties that are blocking the improvement of the conditions of Colombian societies,” Edgar Alberto Angarica, a farmer from the department of Tolima, told Efe.
The Government Secretariat of Bogotá reported that there is a “positive and peaceful report of the social mobilizations as of midday.”
“About 20,000 people have moved to the Plaza de Bolivar,” the authorities indicated.
The event will end in the afternoon with a concert by several Colombian musicians and groups and a speech by Petro. EFE