4 May 2021

Acute crisis in Colombia

Paz Y Bien Contexto5
Paz Y Bien Contexto5

Colombia is in a social, economic and political crisis. A controversial government tax reform has been the straw that broke the camel's back. Our partner organisation Paz y Bien, which supports disadvantaged young people and their families in the Colombian city of Cali, is campaigning for the right to peaceful protest, equal opportunities and the prospect of a life without poverty.

Colombia, which has experienced a traumatic civil war, is on fire. After days of protests, some of which were violent and resulted in deaths, against a controversial tax reform, the Colombian government has withdrawn the initiative. But the situation remains explosive.

"We are experiencing a social, economic and political crisis unparalleled in Colombia's recent history," writes the Paz y Bien Foundation, terre des hommes switzerland's partner organisation in the Colombian city of Cali, in its media release of 3 May.

According to Paz y Bien, a majority of the Colombian population lives in poverty. It has worsened as a result of the government's poor management of the pandemic. According to Colombia's national statistics agency, DANE, 21.02 million people lived in poverty and 7.47 million in extreme poverty in 2020. "Social discontent is great," Paz y Bien said.

The Colombian government, even under President Iván Duque, has failed to provide a majority of the population with a life in dignity and security, criticises the Colombian partner organisation of terre des hommes Switzerland. It is therefore right to protest against this in a peaceful manner.

"As a community, we contribute to upholding and enforcing the rights of disadvantaged children, youth and adults, and to strengthening their communities," Paz y Bien writes. "We will continue to work for a just, equal and peaceful Colombian society, free from violence."

More about the context

"Our young people need a lot of love"

Article about Paz y Bien in: Magazine terre des hommes switzerland, No. 4/2020

Photo main image: Jaír Coll, Cali

Please also read

Port of Pemba - refuge for refugees

Extremists murder, government stonewalls

The situation in northern Mozambique is coming to a head again. Islamist groups attacked the coastal town of Palma, murdered 90 people and captured numerous goods, possibly for further attacks. Thousands sought refuge on foot and by sea in the port of Pemba (pictured). Even if the so-called IS claims the crime, the attackers are probably driven less by Islamism than by poverty. The government in Maputo, however, seems to be following its own interests and is fighting the problem only militarily.

Read more »

No arms exports to Brazil

The Swiss arms business is reaching new record levels. Among the recipient countries are countries like Brazil with a highly problematic human rights situation. Switzerland must do its utmost to stop arms deals with Brazil, demands terre des hommes switzerland. The development organisation supports the corrective initiative, which calls for stronger democratic control over the export of war material to civil war countries.

Read more »

Corrective Initiative: No Wild West with Guns in Brazil!

Media release - On 5 March, the Federal Council is expected to adopt its message on the popular initiative of the "Alliance against Arms Exports to Countries at Civil War", in short the corrective initiative. terre des hommes switzerland demands stronger democratic control of the Swiss arms trade and risk analyses also for export countries in which a cruel drama involving armed violence is taking place on a daily basis.

Read more »
Scroll to Top