Gustavo Guillermo Moncayo
Rincón, popularly known as "El caminante por la
paz", (born on November 29,
1952 in Santiago, Putumayo) is a Colombian teacher who decided to undertake a walk of
1,186 km from his hometown Sandoná, in the
department of Nariño in the
south of Colombia to the capital city Bogotá, seeking to
promote an agreement for the release of his son Pablo Emilio who
has been a prisoner of the guerrilla group FARC
His walk has been compared to the one done by
the fictional character "Forrest Gump
" in the Forrest Gump
Walk from Sandoná to Bogotá
On June 17
is Father's Day
in Colombia, Moncayo
began walking from Sandoná, accompanied by his daughter along the
in every town he found on his path to have a rest and to collect
signatures for a petition to President Álvaro Uribe
to conduct a prisoner
A few days after, his body started to show signs of fatigue; his
and his daughter's feet had to be treated for blisters resulting
from the enormous effort.
approached the city of Popayán, his walk
started to be covered by the media and his name became increasingly
known by Colombian public opinion.
arrived in the city of Cali, he was
received by Governor Angelino Garzon
who offered him a place to stay.
Days after, when he arrived
he was received by the mayor of
the city who decorated him a “citizen of honour
the highest pass of the Andes before arriving
in the city of Ibague.
Wednesday August 1, 2007 Moncayo walked the last stretch to the historic
downtown of the capital city and when he arrived in the Plaza de
Bolívar he was cheered by thousands of people.
Uribe meets Moncayo
The arrival of Gustavo Moncayo at the Plaza de Bolívar led to a
public exchange of views between him and President Uribe, who
placed the blame and responsibility for the long captivity of the
prisoners on the FARC guerrilla group.
After the speeches Moncayo expressed:
He also criticized Uribe for making empty offers to the guerrilla
in exchange for the captives.
According to the Washington
, a far-rightist former Interior Minister, criticized
Moncayo in an opinion column for El
, the country's main daily. He accused Moncayo's son
Pablo Emilio of being an "incompetent soldier" and wrote that his
father was spreading "Marxist
FARC announces release of Pablo
On April 16, 2009, The FARC announced that they intend to release
Pablo to his father and left-wing Senator Piedad Cordoba. He has
not yet been released.