Tag Archives: protests

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•       Due to the protests, the proposed tax hike has been withdrawn, but that hasn’t been enough to calm the situation where other grievances are fueling the protests.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

What Could Go Wrong?

Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, has crafted and circulated to legislators a new “anti-mob” piece of legislation.  This legislation is an expansion of Florida’s “stand your ground” law.  The law would:

  • allow armed citizens to shoot suspected looters or anyone engaged in “criminal mischief” that disrupts a business;
  • allow vigilantes to justify violent actions against protesters;
  • opens for door for death as a punishment for property crimes;
  • allows people to use force against people who engage in criminal mischief that results in the “interruption or impairment” of a business;
  • enhances criminal penalties for those involved in “violent or disorderly assemblies;”
  • makes it a third-degree felony to block traffic during a protest;
  • allows the withholding of state funds from local governments that cut law enforcement budgets.

Ceballos, Miami Herald, 11/10/20).