Colombian President Ivan Duque met his political opponents and then took a more optimistic view of the progress towards calming widespread and sometimes deadly street protests over a week or more.
“We had a coalition of hope, a great opportunity for dialogue, overcoming differences and having a productive meeting without political scores,” Duque said on Twitter on Friday.
However, opposition attendees said Duque needed to do a lot of work to address the demands of action against poverty, unemployment and the eradication of police violence.
Jorge Robledo, a senator of the Dignity Party of Colombia, said the group “meeted with President Ivan Duque as an opposition and we left as an opposition.” “We laid out our perspective and he laid out him.”
They urged Duque to meet with civil society protesters. Peaceful marches took place in Bogotá and Medellín, road blockades across the country slowed food delivery and raised some prices.
Interfering with the supply of other items such as food and oxygen was never justified, Duque said.
“I agree with the conversation, but I disagree with obstacles,” he told journalists. “They are not peaceful because they affect the rights of others.”
The government will meet with a national strike committee of unions and other groups on Monday.
The demonstration began last week, stimulated by anger at plans to raise the sales tax. The proposal was revoked, but protesters’ demands now include basic income and the withdrawal of health reforms, which opposition says are too vague to correct inequality.
The human rights ombudsman reported that 26 people had been killed since the protests began, but seven said they had nothing to do with the march itself. Advocacy group Human Rights Watch has reports of 36 deaths.
Protesters are skeptical of the dialogue with Duque, saying similar discussions were rarely achieved after the 2019 demonstration.
Colombian Duque optimistic about the protest
Source link Colombian Duque optimistic about the protest