World 02-07-2018

Iván Duque proposes massive abandonment of Unasur

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru decided to temporarily depart from UNASUR in April, given the impossibility of overcoming disagreements over who should assume the general secretariat.

The elect Colombian president Iván Duque proposed this Friday June 29 that the South American countries leave Unasur to strengthen the Organization of American States (OAS) .

"We have to advance many countries of South America, first inviting the withdrawal of our countries from Unasur, which has been an organization that has become an accomplice of the Venezuelan dictatorship," said Duque after meeting with Secretary General Luis Almagro at the headquarters of the OAS .

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru decided to temporarily depart from the Union of South American Nations , a bloc of 12 countries, in April, given the impossibility of overcoming disagreements over who should assume the general secretariat of the subregional organization. Unasur was created in 2008 in an attempt to strengthen the integration of South America. One of its main promoters was former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez .

Duque also expressed his support for several leaders of the region to send complaints to the International Criminal Court (ICC) about crimes against humanity against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro . "Now what we have is to look for several heads of state for the reaffirmation of these complaints and ask that the investigations be accelerated," he added.

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced in February the opening of preliminary investigations into alleged crimes committed by the police and security forces in Venezuela. The ICC has the power to open a formal inquiry if it receives a complaint from a participating state of the Rome Statute, the international treaty that governs it.

Both Colombia and Venezuela are part of the Rome Statute. Duke met with Almagro during the second day of his visit to the US capital. Early Friday, he had a meeting with White House national security adviser John Bolton and interim anti-drug czar Jim Carroll.

The day before held separate meetings with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA, for its acronym in English) Gina Haspel. "It's a very good start to our relations with the current administration," said Duque, who will assume the presidency of Colombia on August 7.

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