Bogotá, Jan 27 (EFE).- Security and the promotion of employment focused this Thursday the attention of the debate between the favorite pre-candidates of the three coalitions that seek to reach the Presidency of Colombia in the elections on May 29, in the that Iván Duque’s successor will be chosen.
The forum, organized by Prisa Media, was attended by leftist senator Gustavo Petro, a candidate for the Historic Pact, and former Medellín mayors Sergio Fajardo, from the Centro Esperanza Coalition, and Federico Gutiérrez, from the right-wing Team for Colombia Coalition. .
Petro, who lost the 2018 elections with Duque, but who today appears as the favorite in the polls to be his successor, made a proposal for “human security” in the face of the crisis that the country is experiencing due to violence and crime.
This concept, he explained, “is based on the fact that crime has several sources, several causes, it is multidimensional,” for which he criticized the fact that in Colombia the problem has only been addressed “on the basis of police, jail and deaths.”
“The main security measure that can be done in a country is to take care of children (…) If hunger in Colombia is reduced in the short term, which today is skyrocketing, crime in the country will decrease, not be eliminated. “, he expressed.
Likewise, in Petro’s opinion, it is necessary to rebuild the peace process with the FARC and seek dialogue with the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN), which has been in a deadlock since Duque took office.
Gutiérrez, known in Colombia as “Fico”, believes that the problem must be addressed with “comprehensive security” as a basis, since this is an issue that must be guaranteed for everyone.
In that sense, he explained that the “criminal structures are being financed through drug trafficking and illegal mining”, for which he believes it is necessary for there to be a State “that guarantees order and at the same time opportunities.”
“When I go to the urban issue, I believe in the comprehensive issue and I believe that in the issue of regions it is not the concept of unloading troops (…) the State must arrive with tertiary roads, education, justice and opportunities” , he pointed.
For his part, Fajardo, who was also governor of the department of Antioquia (northwest), lamented that “Colombia today is afraid to go out into the streets in urban centers and afraid to go to bed at night in many of the territories.”
“This is the Government of security, which has made that a flag and today we see that it gives us a country in worse security conditions, both urban and in our territory. We have to be able to incorporate technology, criminal investigation, specialization of judges and prosecutors to carry out investigations associated with criminal networks,” he stressed.
MEASURES TO REDUCE UNEMPLOYMENT
Colombia’s unemployment rate in November was 10.8%, one point less than the 11.8% in October, which places this indicator at its lowest level since the start of the pandemic.
To reduce that figure even further, Fajardo proposes “the strengthening of companies, starting with micro, small and medium-sized companies”, since in Colombia “close to 60% of the jobs we have are in companies with less than five employees.”
“That is a job that we must do, articulating them with territories and with the policies to create the conditions so that what is demanded in the world of companies has a response in those territories, articulating supply and demand with respect to what we need to produce in Colombia. “, he pointed.
Petro, for his part, asserted that if he wins he will raise tariffs in the four branches of the economy “that produce the most” (food production, agribusiness, clothing manufacturing and leather manufacturing), so that “the job”.
“There are four million jobs there and close to two million jobs have been lost in those four branches. If we raise the tax on imports, that is, less imported things, more things will be sold in those four branches, they will be made in Colombia” , assured.
Finally, “Fico” said that the Colombian economy “must grow at least above 5% in the next four years”, for which “there must be physical and legal security and leave the risks of populism”, a proposal supported in Foreign investment.
The first round of the presidential elections in Colombia, for which there are still twenty candidates and pre-candidates of all political symbols, will take place on May 29.
(c) EFE Agency