Colombia: Festival for Peace by ex guerrilleros and community in Manizales

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An article from El Tiempo

‘Brayanman’ was the alias of David López Agudelo as a FARC guerrilla. Now that FARC has been disarmed, it is now his stage name to start his career in music as he is in the process of rejoining civilian life after half a century in war against the State.


Colombian musician César López, inventor of the ‘escopetarra’, opened the day with his instrument of peace at the Los Fundadores Theater and closed it with a concert at the University of Caldas. Photo: Jonh Jairo Bonilla

‘Brayanman’ was the alias of David López Agudelo as a FARC guerrilla. Now that FARC has been disarmed, it is now his stage name to start his career in music as he is in the process of rejoining civilian life after half a century in war against the State.
 
Last Wednesday, he sang in Manizales, far from the place of reincorporation (the green zone) in Caracolí (Chocó). With his lyrics, he criticized the media and the implementation of the peace agreement by the National Government, in particular, regarding the dismantling of paramilitarism.

He was one of the central guests of the Festival for Life and Peace organized by the Institute of Culture and Tourism (ICTM), the University of Caldas and 23 social organizations in the neighborhoods of the departmental capital. That ex-combatants like him shared their stories with the inhabitants of those sectors was part of the objective.

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Question related to this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

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“The purpose is to make visible those invisible voices, those faces of ex-guerrilla people that the country was in charge of dehumanizing; so that Manizales, that did not experience the armed conflict, can understand what is happening in the rest of the country and understand those other views, “said Andrés Felipe Marín, spokesperson for the participating NGOs.

Three buses crossed the Malhabar, El Carmen, San José and Solferino neighborhoods with photographs, documentaries and music. These included those from local artists as well as works of ex-combatants from the camps where they are being re-integrated into the civil society.

The ICTM manager, Héctor Ortiz, explained that “we work with the whole city in promoting a culture of peace”. According to him, for this, the municipal administration works in cooperation with all its institutions.

The event was also an academic showcase. The director of projection of the University of Caldas, Andrés Felipe Betancorth, affirmed that “we are collecting the experience of having worked with the green zones and providing the knowledge to the whole community”.

He emphasized that “the main gain was to establish contact with ex-combatants and the surrounding communities.” He said that it was a first approach of investigation and accompaniment to “gain confidence” and to establish the means for a longer term intervention.

“Many needs are identified in some of the areas, particularly those in Chocó and Guaviare,” said the teacher. He said that the institution is committed to address shortcomings in education and health.

‘Brayanman’ – who at the end of the day shared a stage with César López, inventor of the ‘escopetarra’- said, for example, that he would like to study music “because through singing, one can pass the message to many people.”

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