Colombia: Repression propagates

Colombia: Repression propagates
Fecha de publicación: 
13 May 2021

Not only in rural areas, but also in Colombia’s major cities, the bloodshed unleashed by Colombian repressive forces is embarrassing even more a government submissive to imperialism and follower of the worst kind of individuals, who behind the scenes, still master the political and economic life of the South American nation.

To the slaughtering of former combatants, farmers, indigenous people and main leaders in rural areas, where the government conceals the truth, it must be added the brutal violence exerted against thousands of people protesting in Bogota, Cali, Medellin and other major cities. These people are demonstrating against the official economic policy, resulting in 47 deaths and 587 missing individuals to the hands of police forces up to May 9th. 

The magnitude of demonstrations has made president Ivan Duque to back down for the first time as he withdrew, for now, the tax reform, which hurts mainly the middle class and barely touches wealthy people who support the government and are also accomplice of crimes committed, land stealing, and drug trafficking.

He has been pushing his luck so hard that he added fuel to the fire of the social discontent when he tried to widen the base of taxpayers, raise taxes and raise the price of some products, all of which take a toll on an exhausted community, already in pretty bad condition after COVID-19 pandemic.

With its worst numbers ever, the GDP of the nation dropped 6,8% in 2020 and unemployment skyrocketed to 18,1% last February. Nearly half of the 50 million inhabitants are engaged in informal labor.

Duque hoped to collect nearly 6.3 billion dollars to ease the fourth largest Latin American economy, hit by the new coronavirus pandemic, with barely some bites to those amassing fortunes higher than 1.3 million dollars.

The government hoped to raise excise taxes such as VAT (gasoline would raise from 5% to 19%) and charge basic services in upper-middle class areas, as well as funerals, which are many by the way.

But Duque’s party lost the legislative majority, and everyone knows governance receives millions as a result of his involvement in the production and export of cocaine, leader worldwide.

Before the serious crisis created by the violation of Human Rights, governments and other bodies such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and other politicians —very amicable with the Colombian regime— have voiced their concern over it.

Such illegitimate use of force by law enforcement and the Army has been encouraged by irresponsible statements made by former Colombia president Álvaro Uribe, who championed “the right of soldiers and police corps to use their weapons to defend their physical integrity.”

Of course, these events are consequence of the failure to implement the Peace Agreement —signed more than four years ago with FARC guerrilla— by the government resulting in a widespread impunity with assassinations and violations of Human Rights all over the country.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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