Boston’s Colombian community turns out 700 strong

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There were a few Americans and at least two Dominicans in the crowd, while passersby occasionally chatted with each other. I overheard two middle-aged men (apparently strangers) engage each other:

“Do you know about FARC?”
“I’m learning!”
“They’re a serious bunch. Where are they? In Colombia I think. They had a ceasefire for awhile but just got active again.”
“Nasty dudes, huh?”

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No local media covered the event; their attention presumably taken up with the upcoming presidential primary tomorrow. In Dade County, FL, however, the local newspaper announced the event this morning. Bloomberg released an article Colombians Stage `Million Voices’ March Against FARC, which interprets this event as a rebuke to Venezuelan President Chavez while not seeming to believe the protest itself will make an actual dent in the FARC’s operations. Here is some news from Bogota, which also mentions a related protest in Paris. This BBC story details some of the history that led to today’s world-wide protest. An article from Reuters describes how the protest has highlighted some political divisions within Colombia, including fear of retribution. Colombians in East Naples, Italy, protest, joining upwards of 200 cities by that reporter’s estimate. Snuffle Square blogged about a demonstration observed near a Colombian Consulate. The Christian Science Monitor has also covered the story, highlighting the Facebook angle.

I also came across a Venezuelan blog with background on Chavez‘ involvement, and another one cautioning against potential unintended consequences. A grim entry on terror compares FARC with other terroristic groups, painting a picture of increasing entrenchment of persistent random violence.
Meanwhile, a relatively random sample of generally typical U.S. undergraduate students explain why they were unable to attend the protest themselves. The page I’m linking is a “category” page: from the titles you can tell which ones relate to the protest and which are on a different subject.

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