South Africa: Tax 'Reform', Covid-19 and Growing Inequality Fuel Colombian Uprising

analysis

Widespread protests across Colombia showed no sign of easing as they moved into the third week, with the government and protesters far from reaching any type of agreement.

Laura Brown is a freelance writer and editor from South Africa, currently based in Colombia.

The demonstrations began with a general strike on 28 April 2021 in response to a proposed tax reform that would have plummeted people already struggling in the face of the pandemic further into poverty.

While President Iván Duque has since scrapped the tax reform and the finance minister responsible for it resigned, the list of demands has grown and also includes access to healthcare, free university education, a ban on fracking and for the government to uphold the terms laid out in the peace treaty and take concrete action to support social leaders.

In 2016, former president Juan Manuel Santos signed a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (known by their Spanish acronym, FARC), signalling an end to more than 50 years of armed conflict. But many feel that little has changed in the past five years and are frustrated with the government's lack of follow-through with the peace accord and failure to create...

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