November 27, 2022

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Colombian people protest against Petro government’s economic reforms

The Colombian people opposed Pedro
Photo: EFE/Luis Eduardo Noriega A.

Thousands of people took to the streets in major Colombian cities this Monday Struggle against economic and political reforms By President Gustavo Pedro, it was the first demonstration against his government since he took office on August 7.

In Bogotá, people congregated mainly at the National Park, the Plaza and the Fallen Monument. Most wore white shirts with Colombian flags.

The so-called “Great National March” has “planned concentrations in more than 20 cities of the country, as well as cities in the United States, Mexico, Panama and Switzerland,” said architect Pierre Onsaga, one of the organizers of the mobilization. Eph. The second day was announced for October 24.

Interior Minister Alfonso Prada said Pedro’s government respects the protest and “public order will be peacefully maintained.”

“The opposition has called for a National Day of Protest today (Monday). This government will respect the right of all citizens to protest socially. Expressions of dissent will always be welcomed and heard,” Prada said on Twitter.

Pierre Onzaga explained that the protest is being conducted because people understand that the tax reform proposed by the government will affect the poor.

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The initiative, proposed by Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo in August, seeks to raise 25 billion pesos (about $5.55 billion at today’s exchange rate) a year, according to the government, to reduce social debt.

“They told the country that this reform was for the 4,000 richest Colombians, but it seems to be for 48 million Colombians,” Onzaga commented.

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He added, “The family basket is not taxed, but it is taxed through plastic and petrol. What we are saying here is that we have discovered many things that were sold through advertisement, but in practice they did not happen.

He recalled being one of the organizers of a march in Colombia in 2008 that mobilized millions of people to reject the actions of the FARC guerrillas.

EFE/Mauricio Duenas Castañeda

Other reasons for resistance

These demonstrations are also taking place against the labor reform plans presented by the government next year, election regulations etc.

The reform of that code, according to Onsaka, would mean the creation of a “mega body” with the power to annul any political party “under criteria they arbitrarily create”.

EFE/Mauricio Duenas Castañeda

He announced that at the end of the day they would take stock, and he hoped “everything would go smoothly.”

As the protests began, Petro led to the reopening of border crossings along Venezuela’s border that had been closed for seven years.

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