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Mon May 10, 2021, 09:27 PM

In Colombia the people scream: "They are killing us"

During the last days of April 2021, another march of historic proportions broke out in Colombia as a response to disastrous tax-reform.

Daliah Marie 🇩🇪🇬🇧🇪🇸
6 days ago·10 min read

From cities in all parts of the country of groups of people organizing to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the government and the economic policies it has pursued in recent years.

A new tax reform in the middle of the crisis

Every day at six o’clock, the President’s “Prevention and Action” program is on. It is April 15, 2021, and President Iván Duque announces a tax increase that will directly affect the middle and lower classes. In Duque’s words: “Everything that has been invested to deal with this crisis in Bolivia, in Ecuador, in Peru and in Colombia, and you know this better than anyone — sooner or later this bill will has to be paid” (sic).

With this threat, the president reminded Colombians that the state coffers are empty and that the last 10 fiscal reforms introduced by Duque’s teacher, former President Álvaro Uribe (2002, 2003, 2006, 2009), his successor in the presidency Juan Manuel Santos (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016), and Duque himself (2018 and 2019), seemingly had no impact on the economy and, unfortunately, it must be the impoverished majorities that restore President Duque’s mysterious orange economy.

“In the background, Congress is working on a reform of the health system based on capitalism, and a policy similar to the system of the United States of America, which would lead to even more difficulties of access and a number of deaths, which could be unpredictable by the simple fact of non-payment. This bill is going through Congress unnoticed during the fight against tax reform, but people are able to get informed and are also taking this [the proposed health reform] as a reason of protest against the government.”

Natalia, 23, a senior medical student from Bogotá.

The significance of the tax-reform

A few days later, the country watched in bewilderment as the country’s finance minister, the man responsible for drafting the reform, Alberto Carrasquilla, tried to defend it by talking about a dozen eggs and estimating the price at 1,800 pesos. The Finance Minister ignores that the price of a basket of 12 eggs is about 4,300 pesos and the gap between the imaginary value and the real value is titanic for most Colombians.


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