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| 2010/10/11 00:00

Colombian Singer Juanes Urges Gang Members to Abandon Arms

October 11--Colombian singer Juanes urged some 1,000 young gang members in his hometown of Medellin to lay down their weapons and reincorporate themselves into civil life, the city’s peace and reconciliation program director, Jorge Gaviria, said.

Colombian Singer Juanes Urges Gang Members to Abandon Arms

The 1,000 Medellin gang members want to get out of that lifestyle, but they are demanding “legal guarantees” to avoid prosecution from the government, according to what a group of prominent people in the city, among them Gaviria, said in a letter they sent to President Juan Manuel Santos.

The drafters sent Santos the six-point letter “in which they ask for legal guarantees and government aid so that the young people can leave the ‘combos’ (gangs) and rejoin society,” Gaviria told reporters.
Father Juan Carlos Velasquez, another signer of the letter, said that in different meetings with gang members Juanes had managed to change the minds of the young people and get them to express what has appeared to be a sincere desire to leave the gangs. 
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