On March 11, around 100 wounded and amputee Colombian Military personnel injured in combat, along with 5,000 other people, ran a 10-kilometer race in Bogotá, seeking to raise money for uniformed personnel wounded in combat and the families of those killed, AFP confirmed. Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón participated in the event, to which President Juan Manuel Santos and the interior and justice ministers also attended.
The uniformed personnel, with a variety of prostheses and with the aid of crutches, wheelchairs, and hand-powered tricycles, led the fifth version of the ‘Heroes 10-K Race,’ under the slogan “Run for those who marched for you.”
“These heroes of their country are the ones who are truly responsible for what we have in the country today: a much better country, a country that is on the right path, a country that is being pointed to as an example by the entire world,” said Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who participated in the competition.
The Matamoros corporation, which organized the event, also had the objective of raising money for wounded Soldiers, Marines, police officers, the widows and orphans of those fallen in combat, and the families of those kidnapped.
“This is one way to show solidarity with the Soldiers wounded in combat. The funds raised today will be destined for the Matamoros Foundation,” stated Interior Minister Germán Vargas Lleras, who also competed.
The race, which began and ended at Bogota’s Simón Bolívar Park, included different categories, including one for disabled runners and one for ‘active heroes’ (Military and police personnel).
Expressions of gratitude echoed among participants. “I’m running because I support the cause, because we have to help prevent these accidents from happening to the people who serve us for peace,” said competitor Martha Osuña, while Andrés Medina, another participant, commented that “this event, and everything that has to do with the Military and the police, is very well deserved.”
Since 1990, as of January, a total of 9,642 people have been victims of anti-personnel mines in Colombia, 2,026 of them fatally, including 6,024 members of government forces, according to figures from the President’s Program for Comprehensive Action against Anti-Personnel Mines.
The Colombian conflict has caused the internal displacement of between 3.7 and 4.9 million of the country’s inhabitants, according to figures from various NGOs and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.