The Colombian cities sit witness to the brutalities of mankind as the protest takes an ugly course. More than 20 protestors have lost their lives and the count is increasing every day. Sounds of gunfire have become a regular in the lives and the progress of society seems to have come to a halt. The excessive use of force has become an issue of serious concern. The mishandlings have drawn the plea for calmness from the international bodies.
History of the Protest
The protest began as a reaction to the Duque administration’s introduction of new tax reform. The protest spread like wildfire and President Ivan Duque faced the severe heat of the protest. The administration came under serious pressure and eventually budged, withdrawing the tax reforms. The protest also led to the resignation of Colombian Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla.
After serving its true purpose, the protest focused on a broader aspect. It became a united cry of the people of Colombia against the prevailing poverty and standards of living. The protest faced a strong backlash and took an ugly turn when the reports of police violence started surfacing. The use of excessive force by the police and cases of police shootings only added fuel to the already blazing fire. The protests revived with greater vigor and the situations are in a state of complete turmoil since.
Present Day Activities
The state seems in a condition of total disarray. The city of Cali is affected the most with reportedly 11 out of the 20 deaths occurring in the city. The government has showcased serious concerns over the suspicious movement of illegal armed groups entering the cities to notoriously increase the violence in the protests. The country’s human rights organization ombudsman report that nearly 87 people are missing since the protests started.
President Duque however seems persistent in his belief in the use of force while dealing with the protestors. He offered military assistance to various cities even after repeated denial from their mayors. The administration is also planning to redraw the proposed tax reform after consulting with various other lawmakers, civil society, and businesses. The proceedings in Colombia have deeply alarmed the big international bodies. United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the organization has urged the government to restore peace in the country. The European Union has criticized the use of heavy response by the security forces against the protestors during its plea for a re-establishment of calmness.
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