Elected mayors of Colombia seek for an urgent 'National Conversation'

Amid protests, marches and violence unleashed in Colombia as a result of the demands that various sectors claim in the streets to the government of President Iván Duque, the elected mayors met with the first president of the Colombians in Palacio de Nariño the purpose of generating spaces for dialogue that lead to conjure a dignified, efficient and timely exit to the crisis in which it fell due to the neglect of legitimate demands of citizens to a government that has been in power for 15 months and seems not to take off .

Claudia López, elected mayor of Bogotá.

Claudia López, elected mayor of Bogotá. / Photo: claudia-lopez.com

LatinAmerican Post | Alberto Castaño

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Leer en español: Alcaldes electos de Colombia piden con urgencia una 'Conversación Nacional'

“We are with mayors and governors elected in #Bogotá. For the first time, a government gathers them before their possessions, to invite them to work together, we will build a better country, close the gaps and have more Equity for all, ”Duque Márquez trined on the night of November 24, after days of peaceful marches but also violent acts by vandals and police alike.

“From today until March 15, Colombians will be able to present their proposal around 6 major themes: Growth with Equity, Transparency and fight against corruption, Education, Peace with Legality, Environment, and strengthening of institutions”, Duque complemented in another twitter message.

With what he has called a “National Conversation” he intends to settle once and for all the disconnections that his government has had with the vast majority of the coffee country that were ratified with the vote of punishment throughout the country to the ruling party, the Democratic Center that he was defeated, as ex-president Álvaro Uribe Vélez, the natural leader of the party and mentor of Duque, published on Twitter on October 27, the day of regional elections throughout the country.

One of the most striking statements that was recorded by national and international media was that of the elected mayor of the capital of the Republic, the political scientist Claudia López, one of the heads of the green party in Colombia.

"The President has announced an agenda of how he wants to make the dialogue, some issues, a calendar, etc., he will let you know," said the first woman mayor of Bogotá at the start of the press conference from the same palace in presidential government where the executive leaders' summit was held.

Read also: To the rhythm of pots, Colombia protested against Duque

She began her announcements informing that “I have made Mr. President, with all due respect, four suggestions, the first of which is that none of us, neither I as mayor of Bogotá, nor any elected mayor represents citizenship in streets, they have their own spokespersons, their own organizations and their own agendas and demands and of course, what they are waiting for is that they be summoned to them to begin the national conversation or dialogue.”

“The second thing that I have proposed is that there is an attitude issue, beyond an agenda, he has proposed five issues from here to March, but there is an attitude issue, for the national government also for territorial governments and those who will take possession next January first, in the face of this dialogue with the citizens,” said Claudia López

And he added in that second point that “what citizens are asking the most from their national and local rulers is humility to recognize that there are things that go wrong despite all the efforts that are being made, humility to recognize that there have been errors unacceptable, as if children and young people are again dying in a perfectly preventable and undesirable war that continues, humility to recognize mistakes such as a young man like Dilan Cruz today on the verge of death or very delicate health,” referring to the case of an 18 year old man who just finished his bachelor's studies this end of the year and that until the closure of this article he is still in the Intensive Care Unit of the San Ignacio Hospital as a result of a shot of a stunner in the head by a member of the Riot Mobile Squad.

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The elected mayor emphasized that “the dialogue is not to explain in more depth government policies and communicate them better, no, the dialogue has to be, to humbly acknowledge mistakes, make changes and make concessions, otherwise, it will be a dialogue that leads to nothing concrete, but more frustrations.”

The third request that Claudia Nayibe López made to the president of the Colombians was the creation of a dialogue table for “the peasant, afro, ethnic Colombia of the deepest and most forgotten regions of Colombia expects the issue of peace with themselves, including those seven million Colombians who live without a state, without opportunities, without drinking water, they deserve to be a concrete and separate dialogue table, which is not going to be that urban issues and urban mobilizations leave in oblivion to rural Colombia”.

And if so far the proposals that López Hernández made to the president of the Republic were considered by many, right and measured, the fourth proposal was the one that gave the final thrust to the day, referring to a concept that in Colombia has a lot value compared to what many have described as the "misgovernment" that has generated this deep national crisis, that concept to which the elected mayor referred to is "legitimacy."

“The President wants to convene a dialogue around five issues to citizens, governments and unions, to unite Colombia, to inspire confidence, to regain legitimacy in the institutions and I respectfully told the President that I believe that to unite you have to lead, to unite, you have to have legitimacy and they are all those established powers, social, economic and governmental powers, if they suffer from something it is precisely legitimacy, so that Colombia is not going to unite around power to restore legitimacy to power, that is not the cause that summons the unity of Colombians.”

But then, where is the solution or the valid interlocutors to undertake that crusade for Colombia's union?, "I have suggested an alternative cause to that, I believe that all Colombians are willing to unite Colombia in a pact for our youth, in a pact for education, for life aspirations, for employment, for the dreams of our young people whom we have been offering the unfulfilled promise of the Political Constitution of 91, for 30 years and many of them do not see higher education and free that we offered since then as a right and not as a lottery.”

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1. Los jóvenes, organizaciones y ciudadanos en las calles tienen sus propias agendas y vocerías y están a la espera de que el Presidente los convoque directamente a dialogar y concertar. Ningún político, alcalde/gobernador tiene la vocería/representación social de la ciudadanía.

— Claudia López (@ClaudiaLopez) November 25, 2019

She concluded by emphasizing that this must be “a pact to include rural and deep Colombia that continues in the midst of the conflict, which continues in the midst of extreme poverty and abandonment and a pact to unite around our youth, their legitimate aspirations in the 21st century is something that could perhaps unite Colombia, but a pact to relegitimize power, I don't see that the cause for which nobody is marching today in Colombia. ”

In this way, López, close to taking over as the first woman to occupy the second most important position in the country, communicated to the country his suggestions to the president of the Colombians with a clear message of leadership and governance in front and in communion with the citizenry. Colombians may face a new week with the hope that this National Conversation will pay off and the national government will have sufficient tools to generate stability in a country that, when part of the war disappeared, set its objectives in other types of social demands. Priority

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