Colombia president opens national dialogue after protests

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombian President Iván Duque is opening a national dialogue aimed at including citizens in drafting reforms to tackle issues like corruption and inequality.

Duque initiated the dialogue Sunday by gathering recently elected mayors and governors for a meeting in Bogota and announcing a plan of action.

The president outlined six focal topics: bringing economic growth with equality; attacking corruption; bettering education; improving life in areas hard hit by the nation’s long civil conflict; protecting the environment; and strengthening government institutions.

Duque said the talks will include all Colombians and run through March 15.

Thousands took to the streets Thursday in one of the nation’s biggest protests in recent history. Organizers are seeking to keep up the momentum with a student protest Monday.

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