Colombian government ready to negotiate but protests must end first
The Colombian government of President Iván Duque insisted on Thursday that the National Unemployment Committee must withdraw from the conflicts affecting the country if there is to be a dialogue.
?? We are ready to sit down to negotiate, ?? Government High Commissioner for Peace Miguel Ceballos said as Colombia plunges into a series of heavy mobilisations and brutal repression.
Labor Minister Ángel Custodio Cabrera said the government is ready to talk about basic income, among other points raised by the Committee, and called for an “urgent dialogue”. after Monday’s first round of talks yielded no results.
Massive mobilizations began two weeks ago in different cities to demand the withdrawal of a tax reform project – which has already happened – but to which were added other demands such as the abandonment of a health reform project and a basic income of at least a monthly legal minimum wage, as well as an end to police violence.
So far, clashes between police and protesters have left 40 people dead.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch director José Miguel Vivanco has called on the United States government to reduce its military support both financially and in terms of equipment to a Colombian administration that uses it against its own people. disarmed.
“We advocate that aid should be strongly conditional on fundamental and very specific human rights requirements,” Vivanco said.
Regarding the other alternatives to manage the abuse of power by the Police, Vivanco recalled the need to know the final report of the Military Excellence Commission, which was to be published at the end of 2019 with an in-depth review of the force protocols. public, but which has not yet seen the light of day.
Vivanco suggested that the Colombian police should not report to the Defense Ministry but to the Interior Ministry, which is the case in Western democracies.