Jorge Eliecer Gaitan

 

Mr. President Mariano Ospina Perez:

I address your Excellency with deep emotion, interpreting the wishes and the will of this vast multitude, which hides a burning heart torn by so much injustice behind a deafening silence, in order to ask for peace and mercy for the country.

Throughout the day, Sir, the capital of Colombia has witnessed a spectacle that is unprecedented in its history. People have come together in this square, the cradle of our liberties, from across the country- from the hot plains to the cold highlands - to express the irrevocable decision to defend their rights. The vast crowd in the square has been here for two hours and yet not a single shout has been heard, because in our heart of hearts we only hear the beat of emotion. During great storms subterranean forces are still stronger, and this force has the power to impose peace when those who have the duty to impose it don’t do so.

Mr. President: You don’t hear applause here: Only black flags waving!

Mr. President, You who are a university educated man, must understand what the discipline of a party is capable of when it manages to overcome the laws of collective psychology to express emotion in silence, like this huge crowd has done. You must well understand that a party that does this could very easily react in self-defense.

No collective in the world has given a better demonstration than this. But if this event has happened it is because of something serious, not for trivial reasons. There a party of order capable of performing this act to prevent the spilling of blood and to ensure that the law is enforced, because they [the laws] are an expression of the general consciousness. I have not lied when I said that I believe in the people’s consciousness, because that concept has been widely endorsed by this demonstration, where the cheers and applause disappear so that only the flapping of thousands of black flags can be heard, brought here to commemorate our vilely murdered men.

Mr. President, serenely, calmly, with the emotion going through the minds of the citizens who fill this square, we ask that you exercise your mandate, the same that has been given you by the people in order to return peace to the country. Everything now depends on you! Let those who drown the country in blood cease in their blind perfidy. These malicious spirits would be silenced the simple rule of your will.

We love this nation deeply and do not want our victorious vessel to have to navigate on rivers of blood to the port of its inexorable fate.

Mr. President: We do not ask for any economic or political theories. We just ask that our country not travel down roads that shame us at home and abroad. We ask you for acts of peace and civilization!

We, Mr. President, we are not cowards. We are descendants of the brave who destroyed past tyrannies on this sacred ground. We are able to sacrifice our lives to save peace and the freedom of Colombia!

Sir, stop the violence. We want the defence of human life, that’s what a people can ask for. Instead of unleashing blind force, we should take advantage of the people’s capacity to work for the benefit of the progress of Colombia.

Mr. President, Our flag is in mourning and this silent crowd and this mute cry from our hearts just demands this of you: that you treat us, our mothers, our wives, our children and our property as you wish yourself, your mother, your wife, your children and your property to be treated!

I say finally, Your Excellency, blessed are those who understand that words of harmony and peace should not be used to hide feelings of rancor and extermination. Ill-fated are those who in government hide the wickedness of men behind kind words, for they shall be marked with the finger of shame in the pages of history!

Prayer for Peace

Jorge Eliecer Gaitan