Colombia receives the World Prize for Peace and Freedom

BUCARAMANGA, Colombia (AP) – Colombian society received the World Peace and Freedom Prize awarded by the World Association of Jurists (WJA) for demonstrating its continued contribution to democracy and peace through right.

“Colombia has become, without a doubt, the best country in the region, it is one of the few stars that shine in the firmament of freedom,” Javier Cremades, president of the World Association of Jurists, highlighted on Friday. “That does not redeem it from its challenges, difficulties, all large countries have them, but Colombians have achieved remarkable social and economic development in recent decades fighting the scourges of terrorism and drug trafficking,” he added.

It is the first time that the award has been awarded to a community and not to an individual. It was delivered by King Felipe VI of Spain to Colombian President Iván Duque, on behalf of his country, during the closing of the World Congress of Jurists that was held in Barranquilla, north of Colombia.

“Now that the democratic rule of law is suffering in some countries of the world very worrying attacks, we must highlight the efforts of the Colombian people and their institutions to provide development, stability and vigor to its Constitution,” said the king during his speech .

President Duque assured that it is a “collective victory” for the entire Colombian people, especially for its democratic institutions and for the victims of violence who have shown “resilience” after five decades of internal conflict. He also highlighted that Colombia celebrates 200 years of republican life and 30 years of the proclamation of the current Political Constitution.

“Our justice is imperfect but it has to fill us with pride,” added the president in reference to the recent decision of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim AA Khan QC, to close the preliminary examination of Colombia considering that the country is the “height of its international obligations”.

Duque, who will hand over power in August 2022, insisted that populism or “21st century socialism will never have a place” in his country because we know what has happened in those regimes that fell into those speeches: they began using the democracy to promote social rupture and class hatred, then they migrated to dictatorships to later become dictatorships ”.

The award was also awarded to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who joins distinguished personalities who have received recognition such as Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, King Felipe and Nobel Peace Prize Nelson Mandela.

The World Association of Jurists is a non-governmental entity with special consultative status with the United Nations. It was founded in 1963 with the mission of serving as an open forum in which judges, lawyers, and legal professionals cooperate and promote the rule of law.

During the closing of the Congress the jurists made a joint statement by way of conclusions in which they expressed their concern about the deteriorating situation of democracy in some countries of the world.

“We want to denounce the situation in Cuba where the constitutional state and the rule of law have not existed for many years,” said Manuel Aragón Reyes, academic co-director of the World Association of Jurists. “And without abolishing that rule of law, it is being falsified in states such as Venezuela and Nicaragua or the same risk is being run in Peru, Bolivia, El Salvador, among others,” he added.

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