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Shakira, Paul McCartney and Carlos Santana will take up arms!

March 22 2006

Celebrities are lining up to buy a great invention called La Escopetarra - a tool whose name is derived from two Spanish words «escopeta» (rifle) and «guitarra» (guitar), wrote Cesar Lopez, a Colombian street musician has managed to combine " the worst human invention "with" one of the most beautiful. " As a result of "reforging swords" to light a unique musical instrument, which has unusual musical performance, but primarily on the author's intention has important symbolic value.

It tells the experimenter, the idea of creating a "weapons guitar" came to him after the tragic events that occurred in the capital of Colombia, 3 years ago. Then a bomb exploded near the most famous club Bagot El Nogal, killing 36 people and injured more than a hundred.

"We rushed to the scene of the tragedy to play music, to protest against violence. I was holding a guitar, standing next to an armed soldier, and I suddenly realized how similar we look. He has a gun, I have a guitar. And boom! The idea struck me, "- recalls Lopez. Then, in 2003, Lopez and his comrades have received government permission to stand side by side with soldiers and give free concerts in areas where violence reigns. The first hybrid hard drive and an old electric guitar was born a few months after the incident.

Since then made for 5 of these instruments. One of them got a Grammy winner Colombian rocker Juanes (Juanes), who, however, because of the guitar-rifle while on tour across the country are having problems with vigilant Colombian police accustomed identify concealed weapons. Then the musician had to prove to guards about his unique instrument symbolizes a protest against violence, and he serves as a Goodwill Ambassador on behalf of the peace process. " After a while his La Escopetarra was sold at a charity auction to help mine victims for $ 13 dollars.

Now López greatly encouraged and built big plans to promote the idea of universal disarmament, with the help of his invention. Until the end, he hopes to create 100 more "musical instruments", in a long queue to buy which include such well-known pacifists, like Shakira, Paul McCartney and Carlos Santana.

The mission was pooderzhku Lopez and the Colombian Government, which decided to use La Escopetarra as an antiwar symbol in a campaign aimed at ending 41 years of armed confrontation in the country, which is killed about 3 thousand people a year.

January 18 Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos (Francisco Santos) gave Lopez the "modernization", two AK-47, which until recently belonged to a group of partisans. "These weapons that posed a death has caused so much pain and has caused so much damage, reborn as an instrument of love, flowers, life and creativity," - said Santos, and promised to donate another 12 machines.

All La Escopetarra created manually, and the author recognizes that each time taking up arms, feels "weird feeling". "It is in fact marks which can count the number of dead from this particular hole people," - says Lopez.

Currently, gun guitarist, along with other musicians organized the "Artistic Rapid Action Battalion» (Batallon Artístico de Reacción Inmediata), which conducts special operations in the musical hotspots.Lopez group also wrote music for movies, so again, spreading the anti-war propaganda. As part of commitments to the Vice-President Cesar helps victims of land mines a few to create a group which has decided to call himself a "one-legged» («One-legged Ones»).

However, the Lopez, whose work always bore an informal, experimental, quietly and with humility relates to a resonance that has arisen around his name in connection with the appearance of La Escopetarra, and continues to play in the streets of Bogota. "It started as a small, innocent, very personal gesture - he admits. - I never thought it would help me at least pay the phone bill, not to mention the emergence of new political character. "

Maria Pavlikova

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