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A Conversation with Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia

Highlights from the May 27th conversation with Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia.

 

 

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  • “Obviously, what we’re seeing today is a situation where there are multiple faces—we see the face of those who are genuinely and peacefully protesting in the streets because yes, they have been affected by the pandemic and that’s the case with the youngsters and women. But we have also seen the face of extreme violence. Vandalism, the destruction of public infrastructure, and also in some places, the influence of armed groups who are promoting that kind of conduct to create uncertainty. And yes, those circumstances have to be addressed with law and order.”

    “Since day one of my administration, I have said we are a supporter of all the forces of law and order, but we have said since day one that there’s a zero-tolerance policy if a member of the military or the police goes beyond the law. And we have acted that way. And especially we have to recognize that the Colombian police perform on an annual basis more than 30 million police procedures. And yes, are there cases of abuse? Yes, there are, as there are in any city of the United States, but they are investigated, and they are sanctioned and they are sanctioned promptly. And we work with the Attorney General’s office, with the Prosecutor General and the ombudsperson’s office so that those investigations take place because the zero-tolerance policy was presented since day one of my administration.”

    “Peaceful protest is something that is right, and we have to grant it and we have to protect it. Vandalism and blockades- those are conducts that are sanctioned by the Colombian legislation and we have to unite our voice to say that those conducts violate the rights of the many. So it’s good to separate those things because on the peaceful protest we will always grant the guarantee that right. In case of facing conduct against the rights of all citizens, we have to act with law and order, but always with zero-tolerance of any violation of human rights and also with zero-tolerance on any conduct that goes beyond the law.”

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  • “Our greatest concern to us all has been the loss of life, in some cases involving the excessive use of force by the police. Thousands of demonstrators and police themselves have been wounded. The Duque government is partnering with the Attorney General to swiftly investigate these tragic episodes and to bring accountability.”

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