Tag Archives: Colombia

further notes about protests in colombia

BBC:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-56983865

•       The UN human rights office has accused Colombia’s security forces of using excessive force against protesters

•       They are particularly concerned about events in Cali on Monday, where police fired on protesters.

•       The government had argued that new taxes were necessary to mitigate Colombia’s economic crisis. 

•       The “reform” would have lowered the threshold at which salaries are taxed.

•       More than 800 people are reported to have been injured in clashes between police and protesters.

•       The response is predictable.  Officials claim that the police themselves were attacked and that the police were dealing with “criminal elements.”

Associated Press

https://hosted.ap.org/journalrecord/article/6ed35865fbe5487fe8cc36ddffba6a3c/corruption-economic-woes-spark-deadly-protests-colombia

•       The Associated press is reporting 26 people killed in protests in Colombia in recent weeks.

•       The police are arguing that rebel groups have infiltrated the protests and drug trafficking enterprises are funding the protests.

•       Police are heavily armed from years of dealing with drug trafficking.

Scotsman (5/7/21)

https://www.scotsman.com/news/world/what-is-happening-in-colombia-2021-protests-explained-as-continued-violence-against-demonstrators-claims-lives-3224866

•       The Scotsman is reporting as many as 37 people killed in clashes with police in Colombia.

•       The protests are also about the privatization of health care, something that wasn’t mentioned in the corporate media.

•       The Scotsman is also reporting 89 people missing.

•       Colombia is experiencing the third highest rate of covid deaths in Latin America.

colombia

Colombia

•       There are violent riots in Colombia brought about partly because of a proposed tax hike. 

•       It is estimated that 45% of the people in the country are living in poverty.  There are high levels of unemployment.

•       Due to the protests, the proposed tax hike has been withdrawn, but that hasn’t been enough to calm the situation where other grievances are fueling the protests.

•       Political parties have been weakened in Colombia and in effect, ceased to function.  The streets are the only viable political vehicle.

•       “Latin America is going through hell.”  Says Moises Naim, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

•       The consequences of the pandemic have been dire.  Latin America has 8% of the world’s population, but 35% of total Covid deaths.

•       Protest in Latin America is met with arguments of 1) conspiracy – protest is the effect of outside forces (the old “outside agitator” argument;  2) copy cats – this is people copying Hong Kong and other protests; 3) combustion –  people are fed up because of other issues and they take to the streets.

•       There is a covid-enhanced erosion of democratic forms.  There is a concern about decreasing rather than increasing democracy in Latin America.

See the interview with Moises Naim on Amanpour and Company.