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  • The committee stated in December that meetings would be held from Jan. 15 to 29 at local, municipal, departmental and regional levels in preparation for the national meeting.

    The committee stated in December that meetings would be held from Jan. 15 to 29 at local, municipal, departmental and regional levels in preparation for the national meeting. | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 January 2020

Protesters and organizations continue to strike against the policies implemented by Duque and the resurgence of violence in the country.

Colombia's government and the National Strike Committee are expected to resume talks on Jan. 19 to look for an agreement that will put an end to the protests, according to Diego Molano, designated by President Ivan Duque to lead the National Dialogue.

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The committee stated in December that meetings would be held from Jan. 15 to 29 at local, municipal, departmental and regional levels in preparation for the national meeting to be held on Jan 30-31 with the committee and other organizations from various sectors.

Protesters and organizations continue to strike against the policies implemented by Duque and the resurgence of violence in the country. On Nov. 21, as millions of Colombians, took to the streets to hold the biggest protest against Duque since he came to power in Aug. 2018.

Besides being concerned about his government's little commitment to the Peace Agreements, the population rejects a neoliberal policy package which seeks to raise the compulsory retirement age, increase workers' contributions to the pension system, reduce the state's role in social security, lower the young people's minimum wage, among other things.

So far, however, the right-wing president has failed to consolidate a parliamentary majority willing to approve his proposals, which are often justified as if they were tools to "fight corruption."

However, after almost two months the demands exceed one hundred, among which are the dismantling of the Police Esmad, the revision of international treaties, the establishment of anti-corruption laws, the continuation of the dialogues with the National Liberation Army (ELN), the prohibition of fracking and agrarian reform, among others.

The National Strike Committee has pointed out that the "dominant regime, headed by Ivan Duque, is deepening its anti-popular and anti-democratic offensive by treating social protest as a war."

According to a letter released by its spokesperson in December, the government "seeks to delay and disseminate our demands, pretending that they are part of the so-called National Dialogue that only seeks new forms of deception, division, and neglect, which we are not willing to allow."

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