Colombian President Iván Duque held the first dialogues with the opposition this Friday in order to initiate a reaction to the mobilizations, which were repeated on the tenth day, although the negotiations did not lead to a political agreement.
The opposition electoral alliance Coalición de la Esperanza was the first meeting with the government and previously stated that its aim was “to require the president to have a real, concrete and effective dialogue with the strike committee”.
“We are therefore coming with no intention of replacing those who hoisted the flag of disagreement,” they hinted, attributing a more direct presence to the government to resolve citizens’ demands, El Espectador said.
For his part, Duque has stressed “the importance of supporting institutions, unblocking blocks and ensuring food and vaccine supplies”. “As a country, we have to think, and there is no justification for the blockades that allow families no food, patients no oxygen and vaccines,” he said in a press release, recalling Dialogue.
Another point that Duque insisted on is that in response to calls from some political forces to impose a state of internal turmoil – this would allow, among other things, the marches or the media to be curtailed – the president chose it last .
“There is a lot of false news being spread on networks about the excitement. I repeat, we are currently using all the common tools that the Constitution and the law give us,” he said.
Finally, he recalled his “willingness to listen to those who protest and those who don’t”. “We have invited the Unemployment Committee and are already making progress in dialogue with various social, political and judicial sectors,” he affirmed.
This Friday, the United Nations asked for calm in Colombia and assessed the offer of dialogue put forward by Iván Duque’s government “positively”, as the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OEA), Luis Almagro, expressed it.
“We call for an end to violence in Colombia and the protection of the rights of those who protest and those who do not,” said Almagro in a statement posted on his Twitter account.
It has also stated that it appreciates the “report by the Ombudsman’s Office on the prosecution of possible crimes, in particular public violence, and we support the process of dialogue that has begun”.
In view of these messages, the Colombian Foreign Minister Claudia Blum issued a declaration in which she stated that she was able to verify expressions of solidarity by various states and international organizations with “her constant dialogue with the international community and ratified her trust in our democratic institutions”.
“With all our embassies and consulates abroad, we confirm to the world that Colombia is a constitutional state with solid democratic institutions, separation of powers and independent control bodies,” he said.
Blum defended that Colombia “is taking all measures to guarantee peaceful protest” and that this right “unfortunately (…) has been affected by vandals and violent actors”.
She informed the international community that “the measures and investigations initiated by the autonomous institutions have been launched to ensure that cases of possible human rights violations or excessive use of force are properly punished”.
On the other hand, he wanted to emphasize that “they will always reject external statements that do not reflect objectivity and promote polarization and prevent consensus building in our homeland”.
On the tenth day of the nationwide demonstrations, the government and local authorities wanted to take stock of deaths in the city of Cali, one of the worst hit by civil unrest and violence.
Defense Minister Diego Molano has said 15 people have died in Cali, while Cali Mayor Jorge Iván Ospina has announced that since April 28, seven people have died, two are missing and more than 450 injured.
“We never thought that social mobilization and protest would infiltrate and become a scene of vandalism and death,” Ospina said, according to Caracol Radio.
At this point, several demonstrations are continuing in the country, including 10 different demonstrations in the capital, Bogotá. According to the Ombudsman’s office, at least 24 people have died there since the protests began, at least eleven of whom died as a result of police brutality.