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In Conversation: Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez and Sam Jacobs, Deputy Editor of TIME Magazine | Mainstage

H.E. Iván Duque Márquez, President of Colombia
Sam Jacobs, Deputy Editor, TIME

Although it has received only a fraction of the media coverage, the Venezuelean migration crisis is a crucial issue for Latin America. More than 6 million Venezueleans have left their home country, including 2 million who have settled in Colombia. Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez highlighted his country’s work to award Temporary Protection Status to Venezuelean refugees and urged the world to pay closer attention.

Turning to China, Sam Jacobs, Deputy Editor of TIME, asked if Colombia’s growing trade relationship has led to tensions with the U.S. President Duque reiterated his country’s allyship with the U.S. and his responsibility to develop trade relationships beneficial to Colombia. He reaffirmed the many areas where Colombia and the U.S. share goals, including vaccine distribution, democratic values, narcotrafficking, and environmental action.

Jacobs noted that dictatorships are on the rise throughout Latin America. President Duque stated his belief that centrism is the best path to combat authoritarianism from both the right and the left. He listed his priorities for the country: recovering from COVID-19, improving financial stability, investing in the poor, and raising the prospects of young people. 

I don’t work for the polls, I work for the people. And I work for things to get done … what matters is what benefits the people in the long run.

President Iván Duque Márquez

Is the future still at the political center?

Sam Jacobs

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • The Venezuelean migrant crisis is the largest migrant crisis in the world. It is underreported but widely destabilizing in the region. The world’s focus must shift.
  • Centrism remains one of the best ways to promote democracy and defend from creeping authoritarianism from both the left and right.