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Political defeat weakens even more an already weakened President. Death toll from Duque's repression reaches 15.
Massive protests forced Colombia's President Ivan Duque to back down on his tax-reform bill, considered regressionist by critics. Meanwhile latest reports on police repression of demonstrations account for 15 people killed and 208 wounded, 18 of them with ocular traumas. Over 500 arrests were also reported.
“I am asking Congress to withdraw the law proposed by the finance ministry and urgently process a new law that is the fruit of consensus, in order to avoid financial uncertainty,” Duque said in a video.
Opponents of Duque celebrated the move as a popular victory.
“It is the youth, social organizations and mobilized citizens who have seen deaths and defeated the government,” leftist Senator Ivan Cepeda said on Twitter. “May the government not present the same reform with make-up. The citizens won’t accept tricks.”
The tax reform intended to raise over 6.5 billion dollars, to clean up the country's growing fiscal deficit, worsened by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trade unions called for a national strike to fight the bill, for imposing new taxes on low and middle-income workers.
Western media generally shrugs at the human rights abuses of US allies. Colombia is their most important proxy so there's almost nothing about the ongoing state killings of anti-neoliberal protesters.