The Colombian government of President Iván Duque Thursday insisted that the National Unemployment Committee needs to withdraw from the conflicts affecting the country if there is to be any dialogue.
We are ready to sit down to negotiate, said the government's High Commissioner for Peace, Miguel Ceballos as Colombia plunges into a series of strong mobilizations and brutal repression.
Labor Minister Ángel Custodio Cabrera said that the government is ready to talk about basic income, among other points raised by the Committee, and called for an urgent dialogue, after Monday's first round of talks yielded no results.
The massive mobilizations began two weeks ago in different cities in demand of the withdrawal of a tax reform bill -which has already happened- but to which other requests were added such as the dropping of a health care reform project and a basic income of at least one monthly legal minimum wage, together with an end to police violence.
So far, clashes between police and protesters have left 40 people dead.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch Director José Miguel Vivanco has asked the government of the United States to cut down its military support both financially and in terms of equipment to a Colombian administration that uses it against its own unarmed people.
“We are advocating that aid be strongly conditioned on basic and very specific human rights requirements,” Vivanco said.
Regarding other alternatives to manage the abuse of authority by the Police, Vivanco recalled the need to know the final report of the Military Excellence Commission, which was to be published at the end of 2019 with a thorough review of the protocols of the force. public, but which has to date not seen the light.
Vivanco suggested Colombia's police should not report to the Ministry of Defense but to the Ministry of the Interior, which is the case in western democracies.