Colombia Braces for More Protests, With Few Offramps

Colombia Braces for More Protests, With Few Offramps
An anti-government protest in Bogota, Colombia, May 12, 2021 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

After Colombians took to the streets on April 28 to protest a tax reform plan, President Ivan Duque quickly rescinded the unpopular proposal. But that didn’t stop the demonstrators, who continued to march in support of more fundamental economic changes to address persistent inequality and poverty, which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. Colombian security forces responded to the unrest with a typically heavy-handed approach, and at least 60 people have died so far, many at the hands of the police.

Protest leaders have paused their activities for now, but are planning more strikes and demonstrations for later in the month. Today on Trend Lines, WPR’s Elliot Waldman discusses the situation in Colombia with Elizabeth Dickinson, the Bogota-based senior analyst for Colombia at the International Crisis Group. If you would like to request a full transcript of the episode, please send an email to And for more on the protests, check out the recently released Crisis Group report, “The Pandemic Strikes: Responding to Colombia’s Mass Protests.” Click here to read a partial transcript of the interview.



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Relevant Articles on WPR:

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In Colombia, Police Brutality Fuels Deadly Unrest as Protesters Demand Reform

Another Intelligence Scandal in Colombia Highlights the Need for Lasting Reform

Trend Lines is edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.

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