Friday, May 07, 2021

Colombia's Carnage

 Unlike the unrest which happened in Venezuela, we do not witness  foreign governments lodging protests against police violence and expressing sympathy and support for the anti-government protesters in Colombia. 

37 protesters have been killed across the country with hundreds  injured by police officers who have shown little restraint with their brutality. 

David López, a community leader in Siloé,  downtrodden neighbourhood in the city of Cali,, commented that Colombia was “A country where people are getting poorer and they can’t take it any more.”

Yina Reyes, a 39-year-old nurse knows only too well what Covid-19 can do to a person – and to a community. and  has seen patients get sick and neighbours die. Yet she observed, “But the real terror is the Colombian government.” Reyes argued that the government’s heavy-handed response is self-defeating. “The working classes are the engine of Colombia,” she said, ahead of another torturous night of skirmishes outside her home. “If they kill us all they won’t have anything for themselves.”

Covid-19 has claimed more than 75,000 lives and continues to ravage public health, has only widened the gap between the rich and the poor. 

the number of Colombians living in extreme poverty grew by 2.8 million people last year. Red rags were hung outside homes, in a desperate signal that those inside were hungry. And as people got poorer, they also got sicker, with those from the poorest neighbourhoods 10 times more likely to be hospitalized or die from Covid-19 than those from the wealthiest.

 Elizabeth Dickinson, a researcher with International Crisis Group (ICG), a thinktank. “It’s almost like they are on two different planets and talking past each other...“The level of economic distress is enormous.”

‘They can’t take it any more’: pandemic and poverty brew violent storm in Colombia | Global development | The Guardian

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