The mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero Calle, in company of members of the Municipal Govenrment, received and accompanied the director of the UNESCO Center for Peace, Guy Djoken, who is recognized as an activist for civil rights and social justice in the world.
Guy Djoken, Executive Director of the UNESCO Center for Peace, visited the West University Citadel (Ciudadela Universitaria de Occidente) and Comuna 13 to learn about the transformation of the city. This leader for Peace and Afro-Community Rights highlighted the fact that Medellín has an Afro-woman in the Ethnic Management Office.
During the meeting, Medellín presented the policies and action plans of the Non-violence Secretariat for to face challenges in social justice and guaranteeing Minority Rights of minorities, especially Afro-descendants.
In a meeting with Mayor Daniel Quintero, the Center for Peace Leader highlighted the coexistence strategies that have allowed the city to have mostly peaceful protests and strikes, compared to other parts of the country.
The Non-Violence Secretary, Juan Carlos Upegui, said that “Guy Djoken’s visit contributes to the construction and strengthening of Medellín’s peace agenda, in addition to opening great possibilities for the inclusion of ethnic populations in city processes, alongside the Ethnic Management. For this reason, it is an important event within the consolidation and creation of alliances that allow us to fulfill this goal”.
The UNESCO official’s visit began with a welcome meeting in the office of Mayor Daniel Quintero and later, a tour of the Western University Citadel and District 13, where he had the opportunity to talk and interact with the community. In addition, the director of the Save Lives Now (Salvar Vidas Ya) Foundation, Andrés Montoya, was present, who encouraged the presence of Djoken.
The Executive Director of the ACI Medellín mentioned that “The visit of this leader and activist for peace and minority rights is an important step for the city and for the Medellín Futuro Development Plan to position ourselves as a territory that defends civil rights, social justice and non-violence as one of the pillars to build an equitable society ”.
Regarding the protests and social strikes that Colombia is experiencing, Guy Djoken expressed that he is a supporter of social protest from his leadership and activist position; however, he was clear in saying that they must be peaceful, for which a middle point and a way out must be found for the difficulties that arise in the national territory.
He announced that he will show in high-level international spaces, Medellín’s good practices in the creation of a Secretariat for Non-Violence and an Ethnic Management Office. He also mentioned he will analyze the option of managing scholarships for international studies for the city’s Afro-Community.