I have experienced death at close range seven times: signing peace agreement – Colombia

By John Jairo Junieles*

Photo by Jesús Abad Colorado. Hopefully never repeat that image.

Photo by Jesús Abad Colorado. Hopefully never repeat that image.

The Agreement for Ceasefire, Laying Down of Arms and End to Hostilities between the Colombian government and the FARC is being signed today, thus starting a new period for Colombian society. And regarding this agreement that would end a war more than 51 years in Colombia, the Colombian poet Jhon Junieles calls on us to continue building a more just society, free from hatred.

             I have experienced death at close range seven times, the last time being when a young hit man, walking in front of me, shot a diner three times at a restaurant in a plaza in  Cartagena. He threw the gun, which fell to the ground, turned around, walked past me with his black cap and peered at me from under the visor. A few steps further on, it was I who turned out of curiosity and saw a young woman screaming as she hugged the body. In the distance the young man slowly walked away. Perhaps the good luck I had that day was inordinate, since others living similar or more egregious things might not have such good fortune. Our war has many ways of expressing itself.

Too many have already died during this horrific conflict. With the Agreement for Ceasefire, Laying Down of Arms and End to Hostilities between the Colombian government and the FARC, we have the opportunity for things to continue to change for the good of all, finally free of hatred and working together to build a more just society.

*Colombian poet John Jairo Junieles Acosta

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