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CELAC: Gustavo Petro calls for a pact so that in Latin America there will not be “a single political prisoner”

The Colombian President, Gustavo Petroasked this Tuesday, in the CELAC Summitstrengthen the inter-American human rights system and achieve a “democratic pact” so that “rights and lefts” do not believe that when they come to power “it is to physically eliminate their opponent.”

“Why do we have to continue maintaining violations of the inter-American system despite the fact that our governments signed the treaty in the past? Why do there have to be parliamentary and violent coups, why popularly elected presidents today are imprisoned when they should be at this table? Petro.

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His speech before the rest of the heads of state or government and representatives of the 33 countries that make up the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) was disseminated by the Colombian Presidency, since the meeting was behind closed doors.

In it, the Colombian president considered that It is time that the inter-American system, placed “in order for the 21st century”allow there to be a “democratic pact where the right and the left do not believe that when they come to power it is to physically eliminate their opponent.”

“Here there must be a democratic pact as proposed in 1972. If we came to power from the left, it is not to imprison the right. In Latin America there should not be a single political prisoner”he remarked.

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“But if the right comes to power, it is not to kill the left, it is nothing but coexistence and ideological plurality, which allows us to sustain ourselves in peace in the region that has seen the worst dictatorships and that has suffered the wars of the revolution. ”he added.

Petro, a former guerrilla member of the now-defunct M-19 movement, assumed power in August of last year and is the first left-wing president in Colombia. The Colombian leader advocated expanding “this letter of liberal rights, which must be maintained” with “environmental, women’s and collective rights of the latest generation”, as well as strengthening his judiciary, the Inter-American Commission and Court of Rights Humans.

“I have invited Venezuela to re-enter that system,” announced the Colombian president.

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The Inter-American Democratic Charter was approved by the members of the Organization of American States (OAS) in an extraordinary session of the General Assembly that took place on September 11, 2001 in Lima (Peru). The instrument establishes that the peoples of the Americas have the right to democracy and their governments have the obligation to promote and defend it, and stresses that democracy is essential for the social, political, and economic development of the peoples of the Americas.


In another passage of his speech, the Gustavo Petro revealed that he has proposed to his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to promote a “Latin American and Caribbean conference on migration” in that country.

“Migration is also caused, even if we do not see it explicitly, the climate crisis,” said the president of Colombia, who also proposed making “an orderly migration treaty.”

Drug policy has to change so that in Latin America “there is no more violence or democratic destabilization or deaths,” he also pointed out.


After demanding peace in the war in Ukraine, Petro wished that the Celac Summit could be “the definitive space for Latin American integration. “We talk a lot about uniting, but we do it little (…) I think that this story has to change. We have to move from rhetoric to reality”, emphasized Petro, who stressed that “there are relatively successful cases”, such as the European Union (EU), “with its pluses, with its minuses, with its problems”.

By last, Petro called on his colleagues to unite in pursuit of energy integration. “We don’t have to be crude oil and coal exporters, like gold used to be, maintaining the same colonial system as five centuries ago. We have to base ourselves on knowledge and production as the new wealth alternative, and the climate crisis gives us this opportunity”, he concluded.

Source: Elcomercio

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