"This social explosion is going to happen in the world; Colombia must be a benchmark": Duke

Among the first ideas that the president put forward is that “Colombia is not out of control” and that what has been seen is “a situation that has multiple dimensions”, recalling that the vast majority of peaceful protests have been seen.

However, in its explanation to the Spanish medium highlighted that they have registered “Serious acts of violence, vandalism, and low intensity urban terrorism in some parts of the country”Since there are also “dark interests behind these acts of violence in some parts of the country.”

Then, Iván Duque detailed what motivated the protest in Colombia in three points:

  • Youth unemployment.

  • The youth who have been “without interacting in their natural spaces.”
  • “A cry of hope and opportunities for them”, the young people.

(Read also: [Video] Colombian economy grew and Duque takes advantage of it to ask that there be no blockages)

From there, he predicted that it is a situation that can occur in other countries that face the same problem:

“This is a situation that happens to us today, but this outbreak is going to happen in many parts of the world. It is going to happen, and that is why we have to make the Colombian experience a benchmark. We know that this phenomenon exists, we have seen protests in different parts of the world, we have seen a reaction from the public in the face of confinement measures, in the face of restrictive measures and also in the face of the commissary and social ravages left by the pandemic. This is a time to act and not to regret ”.

For this reason, in the conversation with El País, Duque said that His Government proposes to draw up a public policy that “is the great pact for youth in Colombia” and that includes aspects of education, employment, housing, political participation and the sad phenomenon in Latin America of the ‘ninis’, who neither study nor work, and who need a quick chance ”.

(Also read: Young Homeowners, the new government program; requirements for you to buy your home)

In the same line, the journalist asked him how the country will recover after the pandemic, and Duque replied that “growing, vaccinating and generating employment”, although he said that in recent weeks the economy has been more affected than by the health emergency due to the coronavirus:

He even referred to the tax reform and said that he withdrew it when he learned that it was being used to generate discord based on “high levels of misinformation”, adding:

“The question is why the blockades continued to affect and bleed the economy. The 4 weeks where they have tried to block strategic points of the economy has done more damage to the economy, to employment, to the productivity of the country than the damage of the pandemic in the first months ”.

Regarding the month of protests that has already overtaken the country, Duque said that the peaceful protest has been respected while “in the face of acts of violence, it has acted with the procedures allowed by the Constitution and the law.”

In addition, he highlighted the military assistance that he ordered for various cities and defined it as a “non-police public force that helps to safeguard the strategic infrastructure and also provide dissuasive protection.”

However, the president considers that there is still an “irrationality” in the blockades and that is why he says that “the public force has to advance in the unblocking.”

(Also read: “We have nothing to hide”: Duque responds due to the IACHR’s visit to Colombia)

“Police violence”

Faced with this questioning, the Head of State insisted that “no one can use weapons in the face of peaceful protests” and that these should be activated “in the face of acts of violence always in a proportionality factor”, as he said that the Police are formed in those principles and He insisted that human rights training be given to those in uniform.

This is Iván Duque’s complete conversation with El País, from Spain:

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