Since last April 28, Colombia is experiencing one of the strongest political crises in recent years, which caused the people to start overwhelmingly taking to the streets to protest against the government of the President Iván Duque, and continues to do so endlessly. And in New York thousands of ColombiansFar from their land, they have joined the demonstrations as a show of solidarity with the unemployment and the demands made on the Government to lead the country towards social, economic, educational and security improvements and the fight against violence.
The Colombians of the five boroughs have been felt in more than a dozen events in places like Times Square, United Nations and the Brooklyn bridge, between harangues and chants with which they demand an end to the violence of the authorities in Colombia against the protesters, respect for workers and students and a reform that benefits the majority and not just the richest.
Andres Vargas, a 29-year-old young man who left his country in 2012 in search of better opportunities, and who defends the right to mobilization, assured that Colombians in the Big Apple, like many of his countrymen in different cities of Colombia They are raising their voices in a cry for justice.
The civil engineer, who works in a restaurant in New York, denounced that although the Duque government and political leaders such as former president Álvaro Uribe, have wanted to “dirty” the protests, signaling them as a movement of vandals and infiltrators of the ELN and drug trafficking, the demonstrations are the best testimony that “the country got tired of abuse” and mismanagement.
“Both Mr. Duque, who is Uribe’s puppet, and him, who is the worst plague that could have happened to Colomba, have been ruling for the richest, leaving the poor and the middle class increasingly poor and abusing their force, and since they have no way to refute their ineptitude, they want to associate the protests with criminals, when even organizations such as United Nations and Amnesty International they have denounced the abuses of the police and the Esmad, which have killed young protesters, “said the Colombian outraged.
Respect for human rights
Lorenzo Molina, another Colombian from the Colombians in New York group, who has been present in several of the mobilizations that have taken place in the Big Apple, called on international organizations not to abandon Colombia at this time and force the Duque government to respect human rights and to stop repression.
“This Government has not only allowed to see has no interest in most common people, but also defends and is complicit in the murders that have occurred at the hands of the police and that are documented. Hopefully the international community will come in and demand total respect, ”said the Bogota native.
Angelica Aguilar, one of the organizers of the calls for the Colombian marches in New York, explained that although the tax reform, called the solidarity law, which the Duque government tried to promote in Congress to raise taxes in the midst of the COVID pandemic to the middle class, it was “the drop that broke the glass” that started the marches, the clamors go much further.
The lawyer specialized in international humanitarian law, said that although this reform, like a health reform that did a lot of damage to the most vulnerable in Colombia and left the richest intact, they were withdrawn by the Government, due to unemployment and unemployment. strong pressure, the mobilizations what they seek is a change in Colombia and even the exit of Duque and Uribe power.
“They have wanted us to look like vandals for demanding what is fair and from New York many young people have united to show that we are together in this fight and that we continue with the protests because we demand that they stop stealing so much now, that invest the money in education instead of weapons that later they use against our people and that Duque and Uribe leave ”, said the young woman.
“Another of our demands is that the government’s repression of the protesters, who are young people, students who are literally being killed, end, because there is a disproportion of forces,” added the Colombian. “We are tired of the corruption of the right-wing government under the party of Álvaro Uribe Vélez. We need the President not to be there anymore and we say loudly that the two reforms that have already been removed were the impudence that the Government committed, but the needs are many more and we are not going to stop until they treat us fairly ”.
The young woman announced that continuing with her demonstrations, this Saturday at 3:00 in the afternoon there would be a new mobilization that would begin in Grand Central and it would end in Central Park, and that he would join the call for a worldwide demonstration together with the protests in Colombia,
The Consulate in NYC reacts
Asked about the demonstrations by Colombians in New York, the Consulate of Colombia in the Big Apple issued a comment, where they assured to support the right to peaceful mobilization.
“The Consulate of Colombia in New York, at the head of the Consul General Susana Berenguer, understands and respects the diverse peaceful expressions of the nationals who live in this area of the United States. Consul Berenguer has been open to dialogue with the community, in that sense she has met with some Colombian residents of this area, to whom she has listened to their concerns and with whom she has maintained a cordial and respectful dialogue, ”said that consular office.
List of demands of Colombians to the Government
- Condemn those responsible for human rights violations
- That the government stop stigmatizing protesters by referring to them as ‘hooligans’ and infiltrators
- That sexual violence be condemned
- That there be reparation for the victims of police abuse and an end to police violence
- That the right to safe protest is guaranteed and respected
- That the problem of poverty and hunger in the country be resolved
- That the vaccination plan against covid-19 be strengthened
- That an emergency basic income of at least a monthly minimum wage (about $ 245) is promoted due to the pandemic
- That the national agricultural, industrial, artisan and peasant production be defended
- That there is free tuition in public universities and not to the educational alternation
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.