May 8, 2021
From Popular Resistance

Above photo: A woman waves a Colombian national flag during a protest against a tax reform proposed by Colombian President Ivan Duque’s government in Bogota, on May 4, 2021.Juan Barreto/AFP.

In Colombia the right-wing government of Iván Duque is killing people taking part in an ongoing national strike protesting the government’s economic policies and widespread human rights abuses.

Since the strike began at the end of April, Colombian human rights groups have estimated that 26 protestors have been killed by the government’s infamous security forces.  

In addition to the killings, there has been a major militarisation of cities, with reports of disappearances, sexual assaults on women protestors, and other abuses committed by the security forces. Local human rights organisations have registered 1,181 cases of police violence so far.

Many Colombians are pleading for an end to this horrifying state violence.

Yet the western media have been slow and limited in reporting on the killings, with Colombian president Duque a key US and UK ally in Latin America.

For example, the UK government trains the Colombian security forces but refuses to confirm or deny if any of the Colombian forces it has trained have been involved in the killing of protestors.

The US has given Colombia hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid in recent years even though Colombian security forces murdered at least 6,402 civilians between 2002 and 2008 during the government of Álvaro Uribe, who is a key Duque ally and who remains powerful today.

Despite the relentless government violence, people in Colombia are still out on the streets and refuse to be silenced.