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some of which were violent and resulted in deaths, against a controversial tax reform, the Colombian government has withdrawn the initiative.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
Article about Paz y Bien in: Magazine terre des hommes switzerland, No. 4/2020
Photo main image: Jaír Coll, Cali