What’s Going on in Colombia?

On April 28 in Colombia, demonstrations began to protest a tax reform presented by the country’s president. These taxes were meant to raise $4.1 billion  to pay off the country’s debt,  which would also stabilize the country’s economy. These taxes would be detrimental to the middle class. They would also eliminate many tax exemptions.

They were supposed to get enough money to pay off the country’s debt. They were also supposed to maintain an income scheme to help the 3 million people that were struggling since the beginning of the pandemic.

The president may have withdrawn the tax four days later, however, protests continued to grow. 

These protests were begun by union workers and college students, however, more people have joined the protests daily. Protesters have put up roadblocks, causing food shortages and late deliveries of things such as vaccines. The security forces were soon brought in. In the past, these forces have been criticized for being a little harsher than necessary.

The Attorney General’s office and the agencies associated with human rights reported that 26 people were killed in the protests, including a police officer, and over 800 people were injured. It is not specified the number of killings that involve the police.

The UN is alarmed over the violence against the protestors. Most of the violence occurred in Cali, the country’s third largest city, where at least four deaths were reported. At least 540 police officers have been injured during the protest.

Protesters are being criticized by some for Demonstrating during the second wave of COVID. The number of people with COVID has gone up significantly during the protests. National Police have said that at least 17,000 people in the protests we’re not obeying COVID guidelines.

These protests have also caught the attention of several celebrities, such as J Balvin, who has been constantly posting about the violence happening in Colombia.

As of right now, protests are still ongoing.