OCTOBER 25: Colombian children vote for peace

ON THIS DAY: October 25

Above: Children’s Peace Movement members (clockwise): Dilia Suarez (top left), Mayerly Sanchez, Wilfrido Zambano, Farlis Calle, and Juan Elias Uribe.

ON THIS DATE in 1996, 2.7 million children in Colombia cast their votes for 12 basic rights that included the right to love and family, the right to a clean environment, the right to justice, and the right to peace.

Seventeen-year-old Farlis Calle and 25 other young Colombians had drafted the Children’s Mandate for Peace and Rights, which was placed on a special ballot. The mandate also resulted in the government banning recruitment of individuals under eighteen into the army.

A year later, a Citizens’ Mandate for Peace resulted in nearly ten million adults — nearly three times the number that had participated in the previous year’s presidential elections — voting for a politically negotiated solution to Colombia’s armed civil warfare.

The members of the Children’s Peace Movement were nominated for the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize.

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