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  • Demonstrators take part in a protest as a national strike continues in Bogota, Colombia December 16, 2019.

    Demonstrators take part in a protest as a national strike continues in Bogota, Colombia December 16, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 December 2019
Opinion

After the dialogue with the government failed again, the National Strike Committee called for more protests across Colombia until their demands are met.

Thousands participated in a pot-banging protest in Bogota on Monday afternoon in the Plaza de Bolivar, in order to demand the burying of a tax reform bill in the Congress of the Republic, as it lowers duties on businesses.

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Colombians Protest Against Tax Reform in Front of Congress

Colombia's National Strike Committee, comprised of major unions and student organizations, called this Monday for a national 'cacerolazo' (pot-banging protest) in rejection of the tax reform that the government insists on defending, despite the fact that many consider it harmful to millions of citizens.

The Colombian Federation of Education Workers (FECODE) pointed out that the aforementioned bill had a detrimental impact on national revenue, mainly because of the reduction of income tax from 32 to 30 percent for legal entities.

According to FECODE, the gradual reduction of the health contributions of pensioners with a minimum wage is the only positive thing about this reform.

In a disagreement marked by protests against government policies that have taken place since November 21, FECODE also referred to figures such as the unemployment rate, which stands at 9.8 percent, and labor informality, at 48 percent.

Protesters have wide-ranging demands - including that the government do more to stop the murder of human rights activists; support former leftist rebels who demobilised under a peace deal; and dissolve the ESMAD riot police, accused by marchers of using excessive force.

The next protest will be on December 19, according to statements from the National Strike Committee to the daily El Espectador.

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