Large-scale demonstrations have taken place in Colombia since April 28 local time, with tens of thousands of people taking part in protests in several major cities across the country, including the capital Bogota. Demonstrators clashed with military and police to maintain order in places such as Cali, the country’s third-largest city.
According to local media reports, the public is mainly opposed to the government’s fiscal tax reform case on public services and some food consumption tax content. Although President Duke of Colombia announced on April 30th, local time, that the introduction of the consumption tax would be temporarily suspended, demonstrations continued on May 1st until late at night.
On May 1, local time, Duke reiterated that the military will continue to help control the situation in cities at high risk of violence to protect the safety of the local population. Demonstrators reportedly looted shops and burned buses in some areas. On the evening of the 1st, Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez posted on social media that most of the cities under his jurisdiction were peaceful demonstrations and that the city had not applied or needed military assistance to maintain order. But Lopez still criticized the gathering as “irresponsible” in the face of the ongoing spread of the pandemic. According to statistics, Bogota currently has an intensive care bed occupancy rate of more than 94%.
Colombia’s Ministry of Health reported on May 1st that the country had a cumulative total of 2877,746 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 74,215 deaths.