Colombia cautioned Argentina not to interfere in its internal affairs after the Argentinian president expressed concern about “the repression unleashed in the face of social protests in Colombia.”
Colombia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said Friday that it “firmly rejects” the statements of Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, and that “Colombians have had all the guarantees to exercise peaceful protest throughout the country.”
"The Colombian democratic institutionality protects the constitutional rights of Colombians and will not be discredited by this type of statements that, in addition to being an arbitrary interference, seek to feed polarization that does not contribute to coexistence and consensus" the ministry said in a post on Twitter.
President Fernandez on Thursday, expressed his concern over expressions of “institutional violence” against protesters in Colombia.
"It is with concern that I observe the repression unleashed in the face of social protests in Colombia. I pray for the Colombian people to return to social peace," he said,
"I urge the government to protect human rights and cease the singular institutional violence that has been exercised," Fernandez added.
Fernandez is one the only world leader to issue an opinion on Colombia's social crisis. Bolivia's former President Evo Morales said, "International organizations must stop the violence. Social demands must give way to structural changes.”
Colombians took to the streets after President Duque presented a controversial tax reform bill that would hit middle classes. Although Duque withdrew the bill, demonstrations have continued as unions made more demands of the government, including eliminating the riot police. Ten days of violent protests have seen at least 24 people killed.
The United Nations has called for the right to protest to be guaranteed. In a statement, the UN insists that any action by the police forces must fully respect human rights.