Colombia’s far-right President Ivan Duque found himself isolated on Monday as mayors and protesters prepared for the 84th day of anti-government protests.
Instead, Lopez said that she would be “working with community workers, human rights defenders and the indigenous guard to accompany and protect peaceful protests.”
Cali Mayor Jorge Ivan Ospina, whose city suffered most from violent attempts to crack down on protests, stressed on Sunday that “only as a community united by faith and open to dialogue can we continue sowing love.”
According to think tank Indepaz, at least 74 people have been killed by police and armed government supporters since the protests began on April 28.
The violence triggered the OAS’ human rights office to create a special mechanism to monitor Duque’s compliance with recommendations on how to comply with international human rights standards.
The US House of Representative may block financial aid to Colombia’s police unless the violence unleashed by Defense Minister and National Police director General Jorge Luis Vargas was duly investigated, prosecuted and punished.
Molano and Vargas continued spinning their terrorism conspiracy theory until Sunday, but gave up on Monday as it became evident that nobody was taking them seriously.
In an apparent attempt to make a mence, Duque formally opened the police’s new Human Rights Directorate that would seek to improve the institution’s abysmal human rights record.
The president gave no sign he would be willing to negotiate with any of the organizations behind the protests and Tuesday’s national strike.
The labor unions and farmers’ organizations whose strike in April triggered the ongoing protests gave up calling for talks months ago already. In fact, they gave up on Duque and demand policy changes from Congress.
Many lawmakers are seeking reelection in March next year and can’t afford becoming as toxic as the president who can’t run for a second term.