Left Menu
Development News Edition

Colombia protests to intensify this year, union leader says


Colombia protests to intensify this year, union leader says
File photo Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Protests against the social and economic policies of Colombian President Ivan Duque will restart with more intensity this year, a top union leader said.

Marchers in the Andean country held mass demonstrations in November and December last year to demand a varied laundry list of concessions from Duque's right-wing government. New protests will open on Tuesday with cacerolazos, Central Union of Workers (CUT) chief Diogenes Orjuela told Reuters late on Thursday, referring to a traditional Latin American form of dissent.

"I think (the protests) will be stronger. When we say stronger, they are demonstrations and strikes far from any violent intent," Orjuela said. "The first strong action - like the one on Nov. 21, it will be similar - will take place in March." Protests last year were largely peaceful, but were marked by looting and attacks against public transport during their first few days, leading Cali and Bogota to institute curfews.

Five people died in connection with the demonstrations, which followed upheaval in other Latin American countries such as Ecuador, Chile and Bolivia. The death of teenage protester Dilan Cruz, injured by a projectile fired by riot police, became a rallying cry for many marchers, who have demanded the force be dissolved. The squad is now banned from using the weapon that killed Cruz.

The National Strike Committee, comprising unions like the CUT and student groups, initially presented the government with 13 demands in talks - including stepped-up efforts to stop the murder of human rights activists and implement a peace deal with leftist rebels. Protesters had asked the government scrap a tax reform proposal, especially a provision to cut taxes for corporations, but the bill was passed by Congress just before Christmas.

Demonstrators also opposed rumored increases to the pension age and cuts to the minimum wage for young people - policies Duque denies supporting. The committee later increased its demands to 104 points, including opposition to fracking.

Most demands are things already agreed with students, indigenous communities and other groups, but not implemented, Orjuela said. The committee has demanded one-on-one talks with the government, but Duque has insisted on wider participation by civil society, including business groups.

"What the strikes and marches have expressed is there is another opinion in Colombia," Orjuela said. "It is very important for us that the government understand it must listen to that opinion." The committee and the government may meet in the coming days, he added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Future of Food: Technology fostering the road to global food security

Technological innovation can help address most of the pressing issues facing the world today including food security by enhancing productivity, improving financial services, managing resources, addressing environmental concerns, etc....

Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Now it’s a war, Uganda deploys army to combat locust swarms

Its for the first time after 1986, the locust swarms have attacked Uganda twice in a season. With the increasing number of countries of Africa under attack by locust swarms, the problem seems to have taken a regional paradigm. Its very diff...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...

Videos

Latest News

Facebook says it will publicly track political sponsored content

Facebook Inc will provide a way for people to track political sponsored content on Facebook and Instagram ahead of the U.S. presidential election, it said on Thursday.The move comes after U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloom...

Facebook, Microsoft shelve conference plans as coronavirus fears spread

Facebook Inc said on Thursday it would cancel its annual developer conference due to fears over the coronavirus outbreak and Microsoft Corp followed suit by withdrawing from a gaming conference scheduled for next month.In place of the in-pe...

Battle rages over strategic Syrian town of Saraqeb as humanitarian catastrophe unfolds

Syrian rebels backed by Turkish forces said on Thursday they had recaptured the crossroads town of Saraqeb, marking a first big push-back of a Syrian government offensive.Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said developments were turning in An...

Nets seek reversal of fortunes, road win vs. Hawks

The Brooklyn Nets suffered a tough loss at Washington on Wednesday despite succeeding in not letting Bradley Beal hit a game-winning shot. The Nets continue their four-game road trip Friday, when they visit the Atlanta Hawks. And this time,...

Give Feedback