04/17/2024 – President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, during a restricted meeting with the President of the Republic of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, at Casa de Nariño – Bogotá, Colombia. Photo: Ricardo Stuckert / PR

This Wednesday morning (17), President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met with the President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, in Bogotá, and signed six bilateral agreements. The meeting marks Lula’s official visit to the country, which began on Tuesday (16). The Brazilian president’s first engagements included a working meeting with Petro, followed by the signing of the agreements and a lunch at Casa de Nariño, the Colombian presidential palace.

This meeting, which takes place amid the diplomatic crisis between Ecuador and Mexico, focuses on issues related to commercial investments, social agriculture, the protection of the Amazon and human rights. Delegations from both governments will hold meetings to address specific issues of binational interest, including the implementation of the Declaration of Belém do Pará of 2023, as indicated by Casa de Nariño.

At lunch at Casa de Nariño, the Colombian presidential palace, Lula gave a speech in which he defended the union of the two countries in the fight against organized crime, mining and deforestation in the Amazon.

“The Amazon Forest unites us with its human and natural riches and the potential for a tropical bioeconomy. Together we combat deforestation, illegal mining, organized crime and climate change more effectively”, declared the PT member.

In his speech, Lula also said that Brazil and Colombia have “governments that share the commitment to making societies more just, inclusive and sustainable”.

In the afternoon, Lula and Petro participated in a business forum and the opening of the Bogotá International Book Fair, where Brazil is the country honored in this edition, one of the main cultural events in Colombia.

This is Lula’s second visit to Colombia during his third presidential term. The first occurred in July 2023, when he met with Petro in Leticia, an Amazonian city on the border between the two countries, to discuss the sustainable development of the forest.

Six agreements bilateral

There were two agreements and four memoranda of understanding. Regarding the agreements, one was technical cooperation for cartographic issues and combating hunger, and the second was cooperation between the Ministries of Communications of Brazil and the Ministry of ICT of Colombia.

Regarding the memoranda of understanding, the first was for the prevention of the crime of human trafficking and transfer of knowledge. This was signed between the two ministries of Foreign Affairs of the respective countries.

The second memorandum was signed by Vice-President Francia Márquez, as Minister of Equality, and by the Minister of Human Rights of Brazil, Silvio Almeida. Its main objective is to open spaces for cooperation for LGTBI populations, migrants, the elderly, people with disabilities and people living on the streets.

A memorandum of understanding was also signed between the ministries responsible for tourism in Brazil and Colombia. In the same vein, the Ministries of Agriculture of each country signed another memorandum whose objective is the development of family farming.

Venezuela, Ecuador, Amazon, Mercosur and Celac

Among the topics discussed by Lula and Petro is the presidential election in Venezuela, scheduled for July 28th. The vote is the subject of international distrust due to a possible lack of fairness, as President Nicolás Maduro seeks a third consecutive term.

“It is highly anticipated that we can address these issues, always with a constructive and engaged spirit,” said João Marcelo Galvão de Queiroz, director of the South America Department of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition to Venezuela, Lula and Petro have a “menu” of topics that they should address during the visit, including sustainable development of the Amazon, commercial relations, social inclusion of indigenous and black people, and regional integration.

Brazil and Colombia share territory covered by the Amazon, and both presidents defend the sustainable development of the region, seeking financial support from richer countries.

At the regional level, Lula and Petro can also address the diplomatic crisis between Mexico and Ecuador. Ecuadorian police raided the Mexican embassy in Quito and arrested former vice president Jorge Glas, despite having been granted political asylum by the Mexican government.

Lula criticized Ecuador, classifying the act as a “serious breach of international law”. The topic has been addressed by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac).

Lula’s official visit will include the signing of several cooperation instruments to promote strategic alliances in the fields of human rights and rural development.

Around 300 businesspeople from both countries met at the Brazil-Colombia Business Forum, organized by ApexBrasil and ProColombia.

Bilateral trade between Brazil and Colombia exceeded six billion dollars in 2023, with more than 70 Brazilian companies established in the country.

Read Nature

The 36th edition of the Bogotá International Book Fair (FILBo), one of the largest in Latin America, begins this year with a theme dedicated to nature and Latin American literature. On the centenary of “La Vorágine”, a seminal work by Colombian author José Eustasio Rivera, the event also stands out for the presence of Brazil as a guest country, led by former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Under the motto “Read Nature”, this year’s FILBo seeks to explore the interconnection between nature and literature, highlighting the importance of environmental preservation and the role of writing in reflecting on the relationship between human beings and the environment. The presence of more than 500 international and national guests, including renowned authors and experts on environmental issues, promises to enrich the dialogue on these crucial topics.

In addition to Lula da Silva, other highlights of the fair include Brazilian Ailton Krenak, Spanish Rosa Montero, Argentine Eduardo Sacheri, South Korean Cho Nam-joo and Japanese illustrator Satoshi Kitamura. Together with Colombian authors such as Mario Mendoza, Juan Álvarez and Andrea Cote, they make up a diverse line-up that promises to captivate the public with its variety of themes and literary styles.

This year’s FILBo will feature a series of thematic axes related to the Amazon, plants, the environment and ancestral knowledge, as well as territory, death and artificial intelligence. With more than 2,000 cultural and professional activities scheduled, the organizers seek to surpass the record of 605,000 visitors registered in the previous edition.

In addition to literary activities, the fair also offers a unique opportunity to explore the exhibition “The tree that devoured a world: the rubber paths in La Vorágine”, organized by the Ministry of Culture. The exhibition, which explores the historical and geographic context of José Eustasio Rivera’s work, sheds light on the cruel realities faced by indigenous peoples and settlers during the Amazon rubber rush.

This year, FILBo not only celebrates the richness of Latin American literature, but also honors the legacy of iconic figures like Gabriel García Márquez, whose tenth death anniversary coincides with the start of the fair. With book launches, lectures and tributes, FILBo promises to be an unmissable event for literature and nature lovers across the region.

Source: vermelho.org.br

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