A spokesman for the national strike committee says it will continue the fight for better social and economic policies.
The leaders of mass protests against the government in Colombia, they have said they plan to suspend their weekly demonstrations, but have vowed to continue fighting for widespread social and economic reforms.
National strike committee spokesman Francisco Maltes said on Tuesday that the umbrella group of labor unions, student organizations and others had decided to “temporarily” stop the protests that have taken place on Wednesday.
“That doesn’t mean the protest will stop in Colombia,” Maltes said. “Protest in Colombia it will continue because the reasons behind it are still there. “
Anti-government demonstrations it erupted across the South American nation in late April after right-wing government President Ivan Duque introduced a now-withdrawn tax reform that critics said would disproportionately harm the middle and working class.
Large rallies have continued, with protesters expanding their list of demands to include health and education reforms, police reforms and the provision of guaranteed basic income for millions of people, among other things.
Violence has also increased, especially in Cali, the third largest city in the country emerged as an epicenter of protest.
The exact number of victims linked to the protests continues to be discussed, but human rights groups say dozens of people have been killed by security forces.
He told Human Rights Watch a report last week that Colombian forces had committed “flagrant” abuses against “mostly peaceful protesters” during the weeks of mass demonstrations and called on the government to “take urgent measures” to protect human rights.
Protest leaders on Tuesday accused the Duke government of undermining the effort to start negotiations following the suspension of talks earlier this month.
The government is committed to the talks, it said in a statement, reiterating that traffic neighborhoods across the country do not constitute a peaceful protest.
The focus will be on launching local petitions, convening public assemblies, building political infrastructure and consensus.
Next protest on July 20thhttps://t.co/RNev2sWIim
– Elizabeth Dickinson (@dickinsonbeth) June 15, 2021
Locks linked to the protests have led to shortages of some commodities and price increases, and the finance ministry says the economic losses exceed $ 3 billion.
Meanwhile, Maltes said unions and business associations would meet to draft bills to share with Congress when a new session begins on July 20.
“We hope Congress and lawmakers do not fail Colombians as President Ivan Duque has done,” he said.