Repentant? Why the Colombian population is taking to the streets to protest against Petro

In politics, the expression honeymoon has been used since 1933, when the then newly sworn in American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, surfing his high popularity, managed to pass a series of measures in the first hundred days of his first term.

The term came to designate that period in which a new ruler, still reaping the laurels of an electoral victory, gains a kind of free pass from the population, the press and their opponents – before the demands really begin.

The first leftist president in Colombia’s history, Gustavo Petro, who took office on August 7, did not benefit from a “full” honeymoon in the first weeks of his administration.

In large part, because the Colombian population has a historical distrust of the left, due to the civil war that started in the 1960s by the action of armed groups. It didn’t help that Petro himself is a former guerrilla fighter.

Another factor that weighed against the new president were some proposals in his government plan, such as not granting new licenses for the exploration of hydrocarbons, which caused concern even during the campaign.

Still, a poll published at the end of August showed that Petro had an approval rating of 56%, slightly above the percentage he obtained in the second round of the Colombian presidential election (50.4%).

However, less than two months after the inauguration, this shy honeymoon seems to have come to an end. Petro’s haste to present reforms and the very content of these proposals are displeasing many Colombians, and last Tuesday (26) protests against the president were held in more than 20 Colombian cities and in the United States, Mexico, Panama and Switzerland. A second mobilization was scheduled for 24 October.

Among the various points criticized in the so-called Great National March, were a reform of the Electoral Code, recently approved in Congress and that the organizers of the demonstrations claim could serve as a basis for the persecution of political parties and movements; the replacement of dozens of high-ranking military personnel; and the resumption of relations with Venezuela.

A proposed pension reform, rising fuel prices and land invasions were also targets of protests.

However, the main theme denounced in the demonstrations was a proposal for tax reform, which, according to Petro, aims to increase government revenue to compensate for an alleged hole in finances inherited from predecessor Iván Duque and to generate “social justice”, by taxing more high-income Colombians.

Architect Pierre Onzaga, one of the organizers of the protests, said the proposal could lead to a huge increase in inflation in Colombia.

“By taxing plastic [de uso único] and removing gasoline exemptions would end up raising the price of all foods that are packaged in plastic: salt, sugar, rice and pasta in neighborhood stores,” he claimed.

Another proposal criticized in the demonstrations is the Total Peace project: Petro claims to aim to reduce drug-related violence by negotiating peace agreements with guerrilla groups and discussing the legalization of drugs.

“They are prioritizing the drug dealer over the trader, the delinquent over the businessman,” read the poster of a protester in Cali last Tuesday.

While allies dismissed the demonstrations as “far-right” protests, Petro said the disaffected had the right to voice their opinion, though he suggested that these disaffected people spread false information.

“The right to express oneself will always be respected. But we will always have the right to report when disinformation is spread. Overall, the marches were nonviolent,” he wrote on Twitter.

Source link

About Admin

Check Also

Raccoon asks a woman for help to escape from the trash he had gotten stuck

A small raccoon suffered from suffocation after becoming trapped in a cold metal dumpster at …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *