The Colombian government and the National Unemployment Committee (CNP) will start negotiations this Sunday to put an end to the protests that have filled the streets of the country since April 28 against a series of measures sponsored by the Iván executive became Duque.
The High Commissioner for Peace of the Colombian Government, Miguel Ceballos, and the Minister of Labor, Ángel Custodio Cabrera, announced this Friday that talks will begin next Sunday, reports Radio Caracol.
Ceballos stated that President Iván Duque’s invitation received a “positive” response from the National Unemployment Committee. A dialogue table was then agreed for Sunday at 2 p.m. (local time), as long as this is still valid at the place where it will take place.
For his part, Custodio stressed that the government would seek “all points of agreement” that “the country demands”. “That is why this type of negotiation is important and I believe the country needs the necessary action as soon as possible,” he added.
A government commission led by Duque held a meeting with CNP officials at the Nariño Palace in Bogotá on Monday, but the strike organizers said no agreement was reached due to a lack of “empathy” from the executive.
Since then, the Colombian Catholic Church and the United Nations in Colombia have tried to bring both parties closer together, for which the Minister of Labor has recognized their willingness.
Colombia went through 17 days of protest this Friday, starting on April 28 with the rejection of a government-sponsored controversial tax reform proposal to Congress, which it withdrew on May 2 under pressure from mobilizations.
However, the mobilizations continued to demand other measures from the government, including withdrawing the health reform project, demilitarizing rural areas and cities, complying with the peace accord and dismantling criminal organizations.
During the demonstrations, abuses by the public force were documented, some members of which fired guns at people and violently suppressed demonstrators, leading to condemnation by the United Nations, the European Union or the Organization of American States (OAS)