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Classics Colombians take the street again after a month of pause

11:00  21 july  2021
11:00  21 july  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

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Colombie, Bogota: après une pause de plusieurs semaines, les manifestations ont repris en Colombie contre la politique économique et sociale du gouvernement, le 20 juillet, jour de la fête nationale et de l'anniversaire de l'indépendance. © Reuters - Santiago Mesa Colombia, Bogota: After a break of several weeks, the events resumed in Colombia against the economic and social policy of the government, July 20th. , the day of the National Day and the Anniversary of Independence.

several thousand Colombians have come down again on Tuesday on the occasion of the National Day, to protest against the Government of President Ivan Duque and claim in Parliament, who must examine a controversial tax reform, measures for more justice social and against police repression.

Bogota, Cali, Medellin ... The Government enumerated some 195 events in 95 Colombian municipalities. Incidents opposing law enforcement and protesters made a dozen civilian wounded in Medellin and Cali and about twenty policemen, reports the France Presse agency.

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The police forces had closed access to the headquarters of the Presidency and Parliament in anticipation of gatherings and 65,000 soldiers had been deployed. A broad justified deployment, according to the Government by the fact that the demonstrations are infiltrated by the dissidents of the ex-guerrilla of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the rebels of the National Liberation Army (ELN), last guerrilla active in the country.

But Tuesday evening, the Minister of the Interior Daniel Palacios, however, held that "the peaceful demonstrations had prevailed on acts of violence," in a statement to the press.

The National Strike Board, initiator of mobilization at the end of April, but which does not represent all the components, had called upon the resumption of gatherings after more than a month of pause.

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One month of pause to reflect on the suites of action

composed of students, indigenous and social associations, the Committee had suspended its mobilizations on June 15th. A relative break: If roadblocks had been lifted and the large suspended gatherings, associations and neighborhoods continued their reflection on new forms of action, find observers .

Protestables require, in particular, more social justice, a police reform, accused of suddenly suppressing the demonstrations, and a more solidarity state in the face of the social damage caused by the pandemic. Some 42% of the 50 million Colombians now live in poverty. The National Strike Committee wishes to submit to Congress "a dozen bills of laws from the economic emergency measures claimed since the end of April.

At the origin of the events of April

the Government of Ivan Duque, in power since 2018, has been confronted with several waves of protest. The last began at the end of April to protest a project of increasing VAT and expanding the income tax base. An text removed in early May under the pressure of the street but the demonstrations did not cease, the anger being attached by the economic difficulties. Colombians having the feeling of paying the invoice of the aid provided by the state during the five months of quarantine last year.

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Mass demonstrations, violently repressed, took place in all the country, and the city of Cali was particularly touched . Since April 28, according to the People's Defense Office, a public body responsible for ensuring respect for human rights, more than 60 people have been killed and several thousands of other wounded.

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new tax reform and police reform before Parliament

on Tuesday, the right president, whose unpopularity s' 76% pupil, inaugurated the new parliamentary session that will have to debate a new tax reform. "The voices in the street we hear them and they have to feed the debate, but you are convened by history to be the spokesperson for a country in full transformation," he said.

For this new reform, the government has given up the most polemical points and hopes to recover $ 3.9 billion in the coffers of the state. The previous project provided for a return of $ 6.3 billion. He had been the detonator of Colombians anger and had earned the Minister of Finance Alberto Carrasquilla, to resign.

A police reform project, announced in mid-June by Ivan Duque, must also be discussed in Parliament. But it is considered insufficient by the protesters claiming that the police no longer depend on the Ministry of Defense.

The next legislative elections will take place in March 2022 and the presidential election in May of the same year

(with agencies).

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