PBI-Colombia thanks Canadian Embassy for meeting with Justice and Peace Commission and Canal 2 TV journalist

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On June 16, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “Thank you to the European Union Delegation in Colombia and to the Norwegian, Canadian and UK embassies in Colombia, for holding a meeting with the Justice and Peace Commission and Jose Alberto Tejada from Canal 2 TV to address the situation of attacks on press freedom in Cali and direct work with young people in the framework of the national strike.”

The interview with Danilo Rueda from the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace begins at the 24:13 mark here.

The situation in Cali

On May 30, the Financial Times reported: “Of the 66 people killed nationwide, 38 were in Cali and a further 11 in the region, according to Indepaz.”

Sebastián Lanz of Temblores says: “Cali has become the epicentre of the discontent. We’ve seen members of the security forces armed to the teeth attacking civilians who are exercising their legitimate right to demonstrate.”

Press freedom

The Foundation for Press Freedom, a non-governmental organization that defends press freedom in Colombia, has documented 122 attacks suffered by 141 journalists and media in the coverage of the national strike (in the period April 28 to May 9 alone).

Youth in Colombia

The Associated Press has reported: “Thousands of young people and college students have been at the forefront of Colombia’s antigovernment protests, armed with improvised shields made from garbage cans and umbrellas. They have taken the brunt of the tear gas and gunshots from security forces, and dozens have paid for it with their lives.”

The percentage of youth in Colombia who neither work nor study (“ni-nis”) has risen from 19 percent to 33 percent in mid-2020 and is likely even higher in 2021. Many are not in school because they do not have a computer or internet service at home to study remotely. A reported 3 million out of 11 million young people in Colombia neither study nor work.

ABC News has reported: “Demonstrators are now pressing demands that include reforming the police, implementing a basic income plan for 10 million people and providing free tuition at public universities.”

PBI webinar on the social protests

On June 3, Danilo also participated in a PBI-Canada convened webinar about the national strike and ongoing social protests that can be seen here.

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