Around 1,500 indigenous Guambiano people are marching from southern Colombia to the country’s capital Bogota, where they will stage a peaceful protest against the bicentennial of independence on July 20.
The bicentennial marks 200 years of independence from Spain. The protesters claim that Colombia has yet to achieve any real independence or autonomy for its people and that the indigenous community continue to suffer discrimination.
The march started four days ago from a number of different points in the the south-west department of Valle del Cauca. According to Cali-based newspaper El Pais, the march arrived in the city last Saturday. The protesters, who are travelling by truck, hope to pick up support from locals as they travel across the country.
The idea is to reach the capital in time for the events to mark the Colombia’s bicentennial on Tuesday.
The extensive program to celebrate the bicentennial of independence includes military parades, fireworks and a vast number of cultural events. At mid-day July 20 musicians in 1,102 municipalities across Colombia and 44 countries worldwide will take part in the >“Grand National Concert” to mark the event, involving more than 200,000 Colombian artists, orchestras and performers. Colombian superstar Juanes will also perform alongside competition winner Tanya Maku in Choco, western Colombia.