United Nations, September 20 (EFE).- More democracy as an antidote to the multiple crises that afflict humanity. This is the recipe proposed by most of the Latin American leaders who spoke today at the United Nations General Assembly, including Presidents Gabriel Boric (Chile), Gustavo Petro (Colombia), Alberto Fernández (Argentina) and Luis Arce (Bolivia). , who participated in the inaugural session on Tuesday alongside Nayib Bukele (El Salvador) and Jair Bolsonaro (Brazil), candidate for re-election on October 2.
Gabriel Boric, who last December became the youngest president in Chile’s history, was one of those who most emphasized the idea of a more cohesive Latin America and where there is has “more democracy” to deal with the problems plaguing Chile. societies, encourage participation and respect those who think differently.
“I rebel against the abyss that some are trying to dig in the face of the legitimate diversity of opinions. From Chile, we declare our will as builders of points in the face of these gaps that prevent us from meeting as diverse societies,” said this former student leader.
Regarding the overwhelming rejection (62%) of the proposal for a new Constitution during the plebiscite on September 4, the Chilean leader stressed that even if “some wanted to see the result as a defeat” of his administration, “a government can not never feel defeated when the people express themselves”.
Petro and Arce ponder the fight against drugs
Meanwhile, Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro, who like Boric was addressing the UN General Assembly for the first time, called for an end to the “irrational” war on drugs, which , according to him, is destroying the Amazon jungle and causing enormous damage to his country.
“I demand from here, from my wounded Latin America, an end to the irrational war on drugs. Reducing drug use does not need wars, it needs all of us to build a better society,” he stressed.
Petro also condemned the use of the herbicide glyphosate to eradicate illicit crops in Colombia, a practice supported by the United States and regularly used by Colombian governments.
“To destroy the coca plant, they throw poisons, mass glyphosate flowing into the waters, they arrest their cultivators and imprison them. For destroying or possessing the coca leaf, one million Latin Americans are murdered and two million Afros are imprisoned in North America,” Petro said.
In this critical line with the classic approach to the fight against drugs, the President of Bolivia, Luis Arce, questioned the “unilateralism” of “certain countries” that count his among the “main” producers and illicit drug traffickers, alluding to a memo on the matter released last week by the White House.
For Arce, “the war against drugs, mainly that launched by the United States, has failed”, the power of the North must therefore analyze an evolution of its anti-drug policy, since, in addition, it is “one of the main consumers.
This is why he proposed to “change the approach in the fight against drug trafficking”, since emphasizing supply and not demand “has only served as a pretext for militarization and deployment of the international drug war,” he said.
Bolsonaro invites the Nicaraguan church
As President of Brazil, and following UN tradition, Jair Bolsonaro was the first of the heads of state to intervene, and he did so by denouncing “systematic corruption”, in a veiled attack on the ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, his main competitor in the October 2 elections and who the polls show as the winner.
As he announced, Bolsonaro used the UN gallery to campaign. “Between 2003 and 1016, when the left ruled the country,” billions of dollars were stolen, and “whoever was responsible was convicted,” he said. (Lula spent a year and a half in jail after being convicted of taking bribes, although his convictions were later overturned by the Supreme Court.)
The President of Brazil, who is a firm defender of the conservative values associated with Christianity, proclaimed that his country “opens its doors to welcome priests and nuns persecuted in Nicaragua”.
In 2022, the Catholic Church in this Central American country suffered from the imprisonment and retention of priests. One of the cases that had the most international impact was the recent arrest of Bishop Rolando Álvarez, a vocal critic of the government of Daniel Ortega, who has been in prison since August 19.
Fernández calls for an end to the blockade against Cuba and Venezuela
On behalf of Argentina, its president, Alberto Fernández, called for “recovering the empire of peace” and alluding to the war in Ukraine, proclaimed that “it is imperative that all unleashed hostilities cease”.
The Argentinian president also called for an end to the economic blockades against Cuba and Venezuela, recalling that the only legitimate sanctions are those imposed by the United Nations Security Council.
Fernández, who currently chairs the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), thanked the “solidarity” expressed by “the whole world” in the face of “the assassination attempt” suffered on September 1 by the vice- Argentinian President Cristina Fernández, while a man shot a point-blank pistol at who was also the country’s president (2007-2015), although the bullet did not exit.
For this reason, he called for “an aggressive global rejection of those who promote division” within society.
Bukele: obsolete, assembly format
In his speech, the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, criticized the format of the United Nations General Assembly as “obsolete”, as he had already proclaimed in his speech in September 2019, when he was in office. recently. .
Although he did not refer to his announcement that he would seek immediate re-election in 2024, he said his country had “the right to continue on the path” of “development” and remarked that “the freedom is something they still ‘fight’ for in El Salvador.
Without referring to a particular country, Bukele said: “the powerful (…) cannot come and send us home”.
Immigration and natural resources, highlights
Paraguay, which broke diplomatic relations with the government of Nicolás Maduro in January 2019, announced that “it will present to the Human Rights Council, together with other countries, a resolution that will allow it to continue to investigate in depth on the violation of human rights”. in Venezuela”.
“We must bring stability to the world with a common voice, we cannot ignore what is happening in other territories and leave our sister nations to their fate”, underlined the Paraguayan head of state, Mario Abdo Benítez .
In turn, the President of Honduras, Xiomara Castro, declared: “the poor nations of the world can no longer support coups d’etat”. Castro was thus referring to that which his country suffered on June 28, 2009, when her husband, Manuel Zelaya, was in power.
The Honduran president maintained that her country has just suffered “two electoral frauds, a pandemic and two hurricanes”, adding that it is impossible to understand her compatriots and the great caravans of emigrants “without recognizing this context of cruel suffering” whose they are victims. “had to cross”.
The President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, also spoke about the situation of migrants, who on the other hand asked the UN to play a more active role in order to prevent “a third confrontation (of war) of great magnitude”.
“We are facing disturbing levels of age-old hatred, outright discriminatory rejection of nationalities, migrants, refugees and other acts the likes of which we have not seen since the end of World War II,” he said. -he assures.
Finally, the Peruvian Head of State, Pedro Castillo, said that the Escazú Agreement -a regional treaty on social participation and the administration of justice in environmental matters- reflects the awareness of the peoples of Latin America with “an instrument to assert” sovereignty “Over natural resources in the Amazon”.
This defense contrasts with the decision of the Peruvian Parliament – which President Castillo does not control – to suspend a ministerial resolution which called for guaranteeing the protection of environmental defenders through the Escazú Agreement.
Interventions by world leaders before the plenary session of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, which continues tomorrow with the intervention of, among others, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, will conclude next Monday 26 .