EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell telephoned Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez to express his concern about the “excessive use of force” that has been taking place in the country over the past few weeks amid the National Strike demonstrations.
In this conversation, the European head of state also highlighted the EU’s possible support for Colombia in overcoming the current crisis and the group’s “solidarity” in the face of these “challenges,” Borrell’s cabinet reported in a statement.
The High Representative has stressed the importance of “respecting and protecting” human rights, including the right to peaceful protest, and reiterating his concern about the excessive use of force and calling for all incidents related to it to be investigated.
In addition, Borrell Duque has shown that he disagrees with the ongoing roadblocks, which are hindering the supply of basic resources to the population and negatively impacting the country. He has also asked the authorities to “moderate and respect” human rights when facing these blockades.
Therefore, the President has encouraged the Colombian President to find a solution to overcome the current crisis “through dialogue and negotiation” as well as an inclusive agenda for the youth. With this in mind, he emphasized that this dialogue must lead to the “identification and implementation” of “concrete measures” and serve to promote reconciliation.
In this context, she welcomed the initiatives launched by the Colombian government to work with all stakeholders, especially young people, and positively assessed Duque’s intention to hold perpetrators of abuse and violations accountable.
Finally, Borrell pointed out the importance the EU attaches to political stability in Colombia, as a crisis “could affect the entire region”. In this regard, he reaffirmed the group’s willingness to work together and offered assistance, including his personal commitment to “relieving tension, building trust and promoting inclusive dialogue”.