Analysis: The failure to forge lasting peace made the coronavirus even worse in Colombia
By Hanni Jalil and Elizabeth O’Brien
The use of militarized force against massive protests in Colombia has made international headlines. Despite having endured long lockdowns to combat the spread of the coronavirus, Colombians have risked infection to take to the streets in large numbers because, as countless protest signs and protesters claim, “the government is deadlier than the virus.”
A national strike began April 28, after President Iván Duque proposed a tax change that exposed deep and long-standing economic and social inequalities. The bill planned to expand the tax base through a regressive tax on necessities such as eggs, meat, milk, fish and gasoline as well as utilities like water, gas, electricity and Internet service.
Even as covid-19 and Duque’s policies have exacerbated inequality in Colombia, today’s crisis is more deeply rooted.