Mexico City, May 8 (EFE).- About 300 Colombians took to the streets in Mexico City, demanding an end to alleged state repression against protesters in their country.
At least 27 people have died, and nearly 360 have disappeared in days of protests across Colombia, plunging the country into crisis over President Ivan Duque’s proposed tax reforms.
The tax reforms proposal was withdrawn after massive street protests, but demonstrators are fuming at alleged police brutality and the Duque government’s healthcare reforms.
Colombians in various parts of the world, particularly in South America, have also held demonstrations, calling for an end to repressions against protesters in their country.
Hundreds of Colombians gathered near “Monumento a la Revolución,” (the Monument to the Revolution) in Mexico City, flashing banners that read “Stop the massacre” to express their solidarity with their countrymen.
“The Colombian community in Mexico is outraged and shocked by the level of violence in the country,” Darina Merchant, a protester, told EFE.
The Colombian, who lives in Mexico, said the demonstration was a show of support for their countrymen victimized by the Duque government.
“We are facing a brutal use of violence never seen before in the country,” he said.
Estefany Jiménez had the face painted with the Colombian flag colors with blood marks.
He said the government in that country had blood on its hands.
“They are killing our young people who are protesting,” he said.
He accused the Colombian media of serving the government’s interests and leaving the people alone.
“We fight our young people, we fight for our dead.”
The protesters demanded the resignation of President Duque.
Anti-government protests in Colombia began last Wednesday against Duque’s tax overhaul, which would have required a broader swath of the country to pay income tax and raised the value-added tax on goods and services, among other controversial measures.
Protests continue against the government’s economic policies even as it has withdrawn the tax reform bill.
Demonstrators have said they would continue to mobilize against other government initiatives, including the Duque administration’s health reform plan.
At least 27 people have lost their lives in days of protests against proposed tax reform, Colombia’s human rights ombudsman and prosecutor’s office said Friday.
The two agencies said they were verifying 359 cases of disappearances during the wave of protests.
Advocacy groups have, however, alleged that the police brutality against protesters had left 37 people dead. EFE