Colombian Censorship: A War Between the Government and its People
What has led to the uproar of protests within Colombia and how have the people responded to the lack of government care for it's people?
At all levels of the government, corruption in Colombia is prevalent. With a population of 50.4M, 7.7M Colombians were displaced as a result of the decades-long civil war.
19% of the population lives in rural regions, many of which have been severely affected by violence and conflict over the last few decades.
4% of people live on less than $1.90 per day.
55% of all adults do not have a formal bank account.
Rural families are the least likely to have access to financial services.
Only 93% of children complete primary school.
Transparency International's 2019 Corruption Perception Index, based on experts' and business people's perceptions of corruption in the public sector, ranks Colombia 96th out of 180 countries.
Amidst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the corruption in Colombia has been rising. First triggered by the tax-increase, protesters have cried out about the inequality, police abuse, and economic struggle in a country where unemployment rates and poverty had risen sharply since the pandemic started.
The tax reform has targeted middle class and lower class citizens:
Middle class will have to pay 19% of taxes on water, gas, and electricity.
Middle-Low class citizens will have to pay taxes of 19% towards their internet bills.
If you pass away, your family will have to pay taxes for your funeral service.
Gas will be 2,66 USD if you live in the city, adding to the fact that you have to pay taxes for almost all life essentials. This reform will create tolls for inner city living. Even if you don't have a vehicle or a bike, you will still be affected. The cost of transport fares and food transportation will increase and become too costly. All electronic prices will be raised.
For example, after the reform a 490 USD PC/computer will be 586 USD. (Don’t forget the internet taxes that will be applied to that.) Young workers will not receive government assistance. Meat, eggs, fish, cheese, drugs, and tampons will all be taxed. People who live in the countryside will have to pay taxes for agricultural supplies. Government workers will not have a salary increase for the next 5 years. Health, education, and more will have less budget, but the military's budget will remain the same.
On May 5th, protesters marched to Bogota. In Cali, barricades that were set up by protesters led to the cut off to Colombia's third largest city, leading to some food shortages. Police and protesters clash in Cali, causing an unknown amount of injuries and death.
In his attempt to restore order, President Iván Duque Márquez withdrew the tax proposal on May 2nd. Still, marches, labor strikes, and blockades cramped up highways and interstates, causing the shortage of food and medicine. Police say that looters have targeted banks, stores, and ATMs. The United Nations Human Rights Office said it was “deeply alarmed” over the violence against protesters.
At least 24 people killed, more than 800 injured and 89 missing.
As of now, the people of Colombia have been fighting for their rights. They are being silenced and manipulated by the government. The WIFI and power will be shut off, in order for the government to gain control. The governmental authorities are killing their people day in and day out. Black people are being tricked into thinking that they are going to Italy or France, but they are being sold into slavery.
It is a war between the government and its people.