Colombia’s Vice President Angelino Garzon said Wednesday that open social dialogue between the state and civil society is the only way to achieve peace, not through violent confrontation.
The vice president asserted that “social dialogue is the most important tool we have in order to resolve conflict in a peaceful way and create a path to understanding and a culture of peace in Colombia.”
Garzon made his statements in response a number of violent student protests throughout the country that broke out in response to a proposed governmental reform to reform higher education in the country. The vice president emphasized that a culture of open social dialogue is capable of preventing such events from suddenly turning violent.
The vice president argued that the violent confrontations between police and protestors degraded the culture of citizenship, democracy, and peace in Colombia, which Garzon believes is essential in achieving lasting peace throughout the country.
According to Garzon, “the president has said that we are going to respect social protests, but the leaders of said protests must guarantee the civil population that they will be carried out peacefully and without any violent acts.”