UNODC Colombia presents Bob Geldof with an escopetarra

CARTAGENA, Colombia, 26 January 2007 (UNODC) - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Colombia presented an electric guitar made from a Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle to Irish rock star Bob Geldof at an arts  festival in Cartagena.

The instrument, a modern-day example of turning swords into ploughshares, is known as an "escopetarra" from the Spanish words for "rifle" and "guitar."

Colombian musician Cesar Lopez invented the escopetarra, each of which is made from a rifle that has been used in violent conflict, in 2003. Since then, he has been working closely with UNODC Colombia to raise awareness about the myriad problems caused by violence in that country.

Bob Geldof was one of the main organizers of the Live Aid (1985) and Live 8 (2005) concerts which helped mobilize international public support to end poverty in Africa.

His acceptance of the escopetarra will help to draw attention to UNODC efforts to limit the spread of firearms worldwide.