Bayan condemns in the strongest terms possible the police shooting of street protesters in the City of Cali, one of the largest cities in Colombia where people have massed up by the thousands against the tax reform bill of the regime of President Ivan Duque. The tax reform bill is meant to generate US$63 billion between 2022 to 2031 in order to finance public spending that will raise the economic status of Colombia in the Latin American region.
Although the bill had been recently withdrawn by President Duque, the people have continued with their protests for meaningful reforms in the economy, health and human rights.
The country’s economy which was hit by the pandemic has shrunk to 6.8% in 2020, its worst performance in half a century. Unemployment in this already impoverished country was at 16.8% in March 2020, while half of the population of 50 million Colombians – majority of whom are indigenous people – live in poverty.
Huge rallies have been held in other cities in the country by the indigenous people who make up the majority of this country’s population. Aggravating the situation is the pandemic which the Duque government is not serious in addressing, and is instead focused on quelling the uprising by the people.
Fueling the anger of the people is the declaration of a state of martial law in the city of Cali.
Colombia has been wracked with a civil war of six decades, with the FARC, signing a peace deal with the Uribe government which later on reneged on its promises and killed leaders of FARC; The ELN or National Liberation Army is another group waging war in the countryside of Colombia.
The Duque regime is propped up by military assistance and economic aid by the US government, and is backed up by the extreme right-wing Centro Democratico of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and the ultra-conservative and current Vice President Martha Lucia Ramirez.
Bayan condemns the United States imperialist-backed Duque regime’s iron-fist policy against the people of Colombia, with mounting death toll among street protesters, and thousands injured in violent clashes between the military and the people in cities of Medellin and Bogota. U.S. Imperialism and the Duque regime should be held accountable for its widespread human rights violations.
Our Solidarity to the brave people of Colombia who are resisting this US imperialist-backed fascist attacks on the people!