The United States, the United Nations and the European Union have stressed the peaceful nature of Colombia’s anti-government protests, distancing themselves from President Ivan Duque.
The most outspoken recognition came from US ambassador Philip Goldberg, who on Friday tweeted that Thursday’s protests “were a reflection of the vitality of Colombia’s democracy.”
Most of the demonstrators, from all walks of life, expressed themselves peacefully.
US ambassador Philip Goldberg
The spokesperson of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Stephane Dujarric, confirmed “the largely peaceful spirit that characterized the 21 November marches” in a statement.
The ambassadors of the 17 countries confirmed that “the vast majority of Colombian citizens who took to the streets have been peacefully exercising their legitimate right to protest, showing civility and respect in the expression of their demands and aspirations.”
The statements starkly contrasted with those made by President Ivan Duque and his cabinet, who have tried to discredit the mass protests by persistently highlighting incidents of violence but have found themselves isolated.
The EU ambassadors rejected the violence used by police and vandals, claiming they “tarnish the legitimate right to peaceful protest and generate fear, chaos and disorder.”
The Europeans said they “trust there will be institutional action to investigate and bring those responsible for the violence to justice.”
Both the UN spokesperson and the EU ambassadors welcomed President Ivan Duque’s expressed intention to engage in a “national dialogue” with political and social leaders.
According to Dujarric, the UN secretary general “welcomes the expressed willingness of the Government to engage in dialogue.”
It is time for more dialogue to provide effective responses to the aspirations of citizens and forge peaceful consensus around the country’s great challenges.
“The United States is proud to work with Colombians to promote peace, security and prosperity,” said Goldberg.
The Europeans vowed that their embassies “will continue to accompany the efforts of the Colombian state and civil society in the construction of a country that moves towards peace and towards a more inclusive, fair and sustainable development.”