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  • Colombia’s currency (peso) declined in value Monday to an all-time low against the U.S. dollar.

    Colombia’s currency (peso) declined in value Monday to an all-time low against the U.S. dollar. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 August 2019
Opinion

The drop was further exacerbated by Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla presentation of 2020's budget.

Colombia’s currency devalued Monday to an all-time low against the United States dollar which topped at 3,480 pesos, becoming the region's weakest currency.

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In February, the dollar reached to 3,379 pesos, but the record dropped again and the Colombian currency lost about 12.5 percent after the Central Bank said it would stop purchasing the U.S. currency.

However, the drop was further exacerbated by Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla Barrera's presentation of next year’s budget, and by the Central Bank’s announcement that it had lowered the country’s growth rate by 0.5 percentage points.

The right-wing government had introduced a tax plan last year that may have, according to analysts, affected Colombians’ purchasing power, without mentioning that the country’s unemployment rate, which has been on the rise for years, also increased faster since Duque took office and appointed Carrasquilla.

The controversial finance minister, who appeared on the Panama Papers, legalized a tricky investment plan for the municipalities when he was the minister of former President Alvaro Uribe. He then created a company to enrich himself with this same plan, while ten percent of Colombia’s municipalities nearly went bankrupt.

As Wednesday marks one year in office, President Ivan Duque appears unable to boost economic growth when exports, as well as the domestic market, struggle to take off. Colombian population and international economists have expressed concerns over the government’s management of the situation while Carrasquilla and Duque are still optimistic.

On the other hand, social unrest continues as thousands of Colombians took the streets last week to march in protest against the rise of killings of social leaders and humans rights activists, and the president’s administration inaction over the issue.

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