Official visit to Latin America: Colombia

Pedro Sánchez reaffirms Spain's commitment to peacebuilding in Colombia

President's News - 2022.8.25

Botoga (Colombia)

This is the continuation of an intense and positive work agenda with Latin America that the President of Spain inaugurated as soon as he became head of government in 2018.

Latin America is a priority region for Spain. We are united not only by a common language, culture and history, but also by a rich network of personal, economic and business relations, which form strong ties that are essential for our country.

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

President Sánchez underlined his "profound conviction" that Spain and Latin America share fundamental values of enormous potential to stand shoulder to shoulder to face the current global challenges. These include a commitment to democracy and a rules-based international order. In this respect, the president highlighted the defence "on both sides of the Atlantic, of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine".

Pedro Sánchez also stressed the importance of "working hand in hand" with Latin America and the Caribbean to seek solutions to other potentially devastating global challenges, including climate change and pandemics.

The Government of Spain has increased its support to Latin America and the Caribbean, which have suffered particularly hard from the consequences of COVID-19, with 1.7 million deaths. Spain was one of the first countries to announce donations of vaccines to the region, and to date more than 21 million doses have been donated.

Spain is also committed to a greater international role for Latin America and the Caribbean. "My government will make this a priority of the Spanish presidency of the European Council in the second half of 2023. I am happy to know that we are counting on Colombia to make this goal a success for both sides of the Atlantic," said Pedro Sánchez.

Bilateral relations

Colombia is one of Spain's strategic partners in Latin America, not only in the political and cultural spheres, but also very significantly in the economic and commercial spheres.

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

President Sánchez is accompanied on his Latin American tour by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, and a large delegation of representatives of Spanish companies.

He began his day in the country by taking part in an economic and business forum. The Government is hereby supporting the more than 800 Spanish companies operating in Colombia, reaffirming the willingness of our companies to contribute to the economic priorities being promoted by President Petro. The capacity of Spanish companies to continue taking part in the process of growth, job creation and social responsibility in Colombia is also expressed.

"Spain and Spanish companies want to be a main partner in the diversification of the productive structure to which the new Colombian government aspires," Pedro Sánchez underlined. "There is great potential for growth in sectors like renewable energies, cultural industries, tourism and technology applied to agriculture", areas in which Spanish companies are world leaders.

"Big peace" and political affinity

Presidents Sánchez and Petro reaffirmed the political affinity between the governments of Spain and Colombia in priority areas for the two administrations that lays the foundations for privileged cooperation.

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

"We have seen the great harmony between our governments on issues such as the response to the climate emergency, the defence of human rights, the urgency of advancing the equality agenda and the empowerment of women," the President of the Government of Spain stressed.

Pedro Sánchez has reiterated Spain's willingness to walk side by side with Colombia in the new momentum to construct peace that President Petro has initiated, especially with the resumption of negotiations with the ELN and the rest of the armed groups.

He also conveyed to Gustavo Petro "Spain's commitment to peace in Colombia and our intention to continue recognising and supporting all the courageous efforts to achieve 'big peace' ('paz grande') that have been made in this country", echoing the expression used in Colombia in this context.

The president visited the Museo Centro Nacional de Memoria, Paz y Reconciliación in Bogotá, where he stated that "in Spain we are well aware of the importance of memory in building a true democracy. An inclusive, victim-centred memory based on justice, dignity and reparation".

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

Both leaders expressed their willingness to further deepen and diversify the relationship between the two governments and countries. Within this framework, Spain and Colombia have adopted a Joint Declaration focused on shared values.

It calls for "no effort to be spared to consolidate total peace in Colombia". Likewise, it considers that the fight against climate change "requires urgent action to find a model that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable". It underlines the importance of "strengthening, through public policies, gender equality, the integral empowerment of women and the recognition of their vital role in the local development of communities and in the construction of peace". It also includes the recognition by Spain and Colombia of the importance of international cooperation for the reception of migrants, "protecting their rights and promoting the fight against criminal phenomena, such as the smuggling and trafficking of human beings".

Non official translation