Students, workers, senior citizens, and indigenous peoples are joining the “Seize-the capital-cities march,” an action that marks almost 50 days of a continual national strike in Colombia.
After almost 50 days of a country-wide strike, students from 32 public universities will march on Wednesday to demand more resources for public education.
The "Seize Capital Cities”, as it was called this march, will be supported by workers, senior citizens, and indigenous peoples, among others, who are protesting against President Ivan Duque’s adjustment policies.
The fiscal deficit of public universities, the increase in gasoline prices, and the ‘Financing Law’ are concrete reasons that motivate another 24-hours of protests.
"Uruguay Former President Jose "Pepe" Mujica expressed solidarity with the strike promoted by students in Colombia. Mujica urged students to continue with their demands in defense of higher education."
"It will be a massive march, throughout the country... We hope the Government presents us a strong proposal because we want to reach a quick agreement. However, this march will be for the Government to really keep in mind that the country is collapsing," said Alejandro Palacio, member of Asociación Colombiana de Representantes Estudiantiles de la Educacion Superior (Acrees), as reported by El Universal.
The first student's march occurred on October 10 and they asked the Colombian government to rescue public education from its current financial crisis. On October 26 President Duque and 32 university chancellors reached an agreement, which involved a US$1.1 billion grant to the universities for the next four years.
Given that this amount was not enough, the Colombian students requested an additional US$1.4 billion and called for "the Zombie arch to revive public universities" on October 31.
At the same time, during the last month and a half, the labor and social sectors have been mobilized against Duque administrations' bill seeking to close the fiscal gap by increasing taxes.
"Among the main reasons for this mobilization are the rejection of the tax reform that... [will tax] an important part of the goods consumed by Colombian working families," said Diógenes Orjuela, president of the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT).