- Title: National strike converges on Colombia's Congress amidst outrage over tax reform
- Date: 17th December 2019
- Summary: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (DECEMBER 16, 2019) (REUTERS) STRIKERS GATHERED IN BOLIVAR PLAZA PROTESTER BANGING POT PROTESTER HOLDING UP SIGN THAT READS (Spanish) "WE ARE NOT SCARED" STRIKERS GATHERED VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS BANGING POTS AND PANS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MEMBER OF NATIONAL STRIKE COMMITTEE, DIOGENES ORJUELA, SAYING: "We are here to tell Congress to not approve this tax reform. It's a tax reform against the people of Colombia and which just favours the great capitalists, multinationals, the rich. It hits hard on the middle class, on the lower-paid sectors. We will stay here in (Bolivar) Plaza to tell Congress that we are mobilising and telling them what the people are Colombia are calling for." PROTESTERS GATHERED PROTESTER IN ANTI-GOVERNMENT CHANT (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PROTESTER, ANA MARIA HERRERA, SAYING: "It (tax reform) is being approved at this time. They (lawmakers) are having a laugh at our expense. We don't agree and they (lawmakers) continue to do what they want. After 20 days of strikes nothing has changed. We continue to stay out here because something has to happen." PROTESTERS GATHERED PROTESTER CHANTING PROTESTERS GATHERED (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OPPOSITION LAWMAKER, JORGE ROBLEDO, SAYING: "This is a regressive government, serving the interests of a powerful minority, very reactionary and very corrupt, that is what is happening here. We are in a struggle, a democratic struggle, and this struggle will keep up and will go forward and defeat the government of (president) Ivan Duque, for being a government that does not represent the interests of Colombians." SENATE IN SESSION
- Embargoed: 31st December 2019 00:03
- Keywords: Bogota Colombia President Ivan Duque strike tax reform
- Location: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- City: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- Country: Colombia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001BA87NT3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Colombian unions, student groups and other protesters converged outside the country's Congress on Monday (December 16) against rumoured economic reform plans that critics argue give businesses too many tax breaks.
Thousands gathered in Bogota's Bolivar Plaza for a ''cacerolazo'' - a traditional Latin American expression of protest in which people bang pots and pans in protest.
It was the latest demonstration in weeks of protests, which had drawn hundreds of thousands of marchers and put pressure on Duque's proposed tax reform, which lowers duties on businesses.
Duque announced a "great national dialogue" on social issues, but government efforts to stop demonstrations had failed. The union-led National Strike Committee had stuck to demands for one-on-one talks and refused to call off protests.
Protest leaders presented 13 demands on a wide range of issues, including actions to curb the murders of social activists, the implementation of the peace agreement with the demobilized FARC guerrillas and the dissolution of a police riot squad, who are accused of violence against protesters.
(Production: Herbert Villarraga, Andres Rojas, Camilo Cohecha, Daniel Munoz)
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