Colombian President To Launch National Dialogue Amid Protests

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Colombian President Ivan Duque on Tuesday, May 4, called for the start of a national dialogue with the participation of citizens and organizations of the country to find a solution to the crisis amid unrest in the country. He stated this in an address to the people, which was broadcast in Twitter press service of the head of state.

“Tomorrow there will be meetings with the institutions of our countries, during which representatives of courts, supervised bodies, governors of the congress, as well as representatives of civil society, mayors and associations who unite, together with the private sector and members of municipal councils, we hope to start to act to protect values ​​that Colombians need, ”he said.

According to the president, the goal of the national dialogue is to abandon violence “in all its forms”, accelerate the vaccination of the country’s population, provide resources that contribute to “the continuity of social programs and the protection of the most vulnerable (strata of society – Ed.) And, of course, return to economic recovery ”.

According to the office of the Colombian Ombudsman, during the week of protests, 19 protesters and one police officer were killed in clashes, and 89 people were missing.

Demonstrations against tax reform have been taking place in Colombia since last week. The riots took place in the capital of the country – Bogota, Cali, Medellin and other cities. More than 840 people were injured on both sides of the barricades, 431 were reported. Later, President Ivan Duque publicly refused to expand the application of VAT on gasoline and utilities and the income tax base, but protests continued.

Amid protests, the authors of the tax reform, Colombian Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla and his deputy, Juan Alberto Londoño, resigned.

Now workers and students, in addition to canceling the tax reform, are demanding a review of the work of the health service, the dissolution of the Esmad riot control units, the demilitarization of cities, and an end to the killing of citizens.