nearly 20 dead and more than 800 injured during protests against controversial reform

The anger started with a tax reform project, since withdrawn by President Ivan Duque.

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Despite the withdrawal of the controversial project, the streets are always full. Nearly 20 people have died, and more than 800 have been injured, in protests against tax reform in Colombia that began last week. The mobilization, which continued on Monday, May 3, prompted the resignation of the Minister of Finances, Alberto Carrasquilla and the withdrawal of the project by the president Ivan Duque.

The tax reform project, withdrawn Sunday evening by the conservative head of state, had aroused strong criticism. The opposition, unions and even representatives of the ruling party felt it was affecting the middle class too much and deeming it inappropriate as the Covid-19 pandemic worsened the country’s economic health.

The five days of protest since last Wednesday resulted in the death of 18 civilians and a police officer, according to the latest report communicated at midday by the Defender of the People, a public body for the protection of rights. The Ministry of Defense for its part reported 846 wounded, including 306 civilians. In addition, 431 people were arrested during the unrest that marked some demonstrations, although most were peaceful.

While the government has deployed the army as reinforcements in the most affected towns, several NGOs have accused the police of firing at civilians.

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