Paying off an old debt

Edited by Catherin López
2023-06-28 19:16:29



The objective of Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who, together with his cabinet, has been in this department located in the extreme north of the South American country since Monday, is to meet and respond to the growing needs of the population of La Guajira, mostly an indigenous community.   


Great inequalities characterize this territory, which with a vast natural and cultural wealth, paradoxically leads the nation in the statistics of poverty, malnutrition, and lack of access to the most elementary basic services.


Poverty reaches 67%, where child malnutrition abounds. Last year alone, more than 80 children died of malnutrition.


In La Guajira, a large part of the population lacks the minimum access to basic rights such as water, food, health, housing, decent work, and education.


The situation has been critical for some time now. Already in 2017, the Constitutional Court declared the State of Unconstitutional Things regarding the special protection of human rights for the Wayyu indigenous communities of the municipalities of Riohacha, Manaure, Uribia, and Maicao.


Hence, from the beginning of his government, in August 2022, Petro gave instructions to his team to attend to La Guajira and now he has marched to the region, from where he will govern this week.  


The trip of the president and his cabinet focuses on energy issues, climate change, water access, and management, food, and health.


The authorities are holding meetings with the communities to listen to their concerns. In the few hours that the executive has been in the territory, a pact to prevent child labor in the region was signed between the Ministry of Labor, local authorities, and international organizations.


The government will deliver 50 million pesos and the same amount will be destined by the International Labor Organization for the elaboration of a diagnosis aimed at reducing unemployment and child labor.


The reactivation of the Manaure salt mines was also announced, which will benefit more than 3,000 families and produce at least 400 jobs.


Governing with the people for the benefit of Colombians is the priority of President Gustavo Petro whose

presence, work, and direct contact with the people of La Guajira confirm that for his government every citizen matters.


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