Thousands of Colombians protest against economic policies

Nearly five thousand Colombians showed up to protest on Monday, taking a stand against the current economic crisis and recent incidents of police brutality. Trade unions, students and civil society members attempted to revive last year's protests, after a pause imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. Protesters asked for more workers rights, better pension, and health care, after a government decree made it easier for employers to pay workers by the hour.


As Colombia has lifted a five-month lockdown, organizers are trying to revive last year's protests against President Ivan Duque.


Protests began peacefully in the morning, with a demonstration of vehicles at the labor ministry, organized by major unions. Protesters asked for more workers rights, better pension, and health care, after a government decree made it easier for employers to pay workers by the hour.


Demonstrators also called on the president to stop massacres by armed groups. This year alone, more than 60 such massacres have claimed over 240 lives, accoring to the NGO Indepaz. Two killings that took place this weekend have claimed at least 10 lives.


Rebel groups and drug traffickers are considered responsible for the violence, after a 2016 peace treaty was rejected by a guerilla movement, led by the National Liberation Army. The groups are fighting for control over illegal mining, drug trafficking routes, and cocoa plantations.


Earlier protests were stopped due to a rising number of infections. Nearly 765,000 Colombians have been infected and more than have 24,000 died. Unemployment rates in urban parts have risen to 25%, and the government expects the economy to contract by 5.5%.


From a demonstration, May 2007. Photo by b.wu, CC BY 2.0

Source: msn news

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