26th September 2016 will forever go down in history as a day that changed Colombia forever.
On September 26th, some of the world’s most powerful people descended on Colombia’s Caribbean city – Cartagena, for the official signing of the Peace declaration. The majority of Latin American President’s, world diplomates and Colombia’s most powerful, joined together to celebrate the end of a 52 year war – between Colombia and the FARC.
The whole of Colombia stopped at 5pm to pay respect to the FARC victims in a minute of silence and watched the Colombia President Santos and the FARC leader Timochenko sign the peace declaration.
The FARC leader Timochenko was greated by cheers and applause when he “apologised to all the victims of the conflict” something many Colombians had been waiting to hear, he then went onto ask Colombia for forgiveness “I would like to ask for forgiveness for all the pain that we have caused during this war.”
The civil war lasting 52 years was started by the FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the largest rebel group in Colombia. They fought against the inequality in the country, with extreme violence, kidnapping and killing innocent victims, planting bombs, destroying anything they deemed important to the people. They were able to sponsor this war and violence by narco trafficking and kidnapping.
Colombians still have to vote on the peace agreement on Sunday October 2nd, which divides opinions through political power, money and no punishment. The Colombian people will have a say on the decision but today was a very significant day.
For Colombians today was emotional, every generation has somehow been affected by the war, if not directly by the inability to travel, fear or reputation of their country. Colombians in general are passionate, patriotic and loving. I wasn’t surprised to see president Santos, shed a tear whilst giving his ending speech in Cartagena today. A President who has done everything he possibly can to get to this point, he’s achieved what many other before him never had the persistence or patient to do so, the determination to achieve this, no matter how many supporters he lost in the process. He will always be known for this incredible achievement, today the most important signature he’s ever signed was shown live around the world and forever this will be remembered.
Today marks the beginning of the end of this chapter in Colombia’s history, Sunday will finally close the chapter. Colombia will then start a new chapter of opportunity, peace, time to start a fresh and build a better future for the next generation.
If Colombian’s vote yes for peace on Sunday the sun will set and reappear on Monday with a new beginning and outlook on life for the country.