Nearshore Americas

Colombia Limps Back to Normalcy After a Week of Violent Protests

Normalcy is returning to the streets of Colombia after week-long protests rocked normal life across the country.

The protests began with a general strike last Thursday – but soon turned ugly after an 18-year-old student, Dilan Cruz, was killed by a teargas canister police fired in order to disperse the crowd.

Students, labor unions and indigenous people, who are angry the government is planning to cut the minimum wage and pension payments, largely make up the protests.

Colombia’s President Iván Duque has said such plans are not under consideration.

For protesters, the death of Cruz became a rallying cry, and more took to the streets to protest against corruption and rising violence in the countryside.

Colombia signed a peace agreement with FARC rebels in 2016 ending a half-century civil war, though the current administration has been accused of failing to put the terms of the agreement into action.

Meanwhile, many former rebels have picked up arms, leading to the killing of hundreds of activists and community leaders in rural areas across the country.

Colombia has joined the list of other Latin American countries who have protested recently.

Chile suffered similar protests earlier this month after the government decided to raise metro ticket prices.

Sign up for our Nearshore Americas newsletter:

Bolivia too saw violent protests after a disputed presidential election last month.

And Ecuador also saw an uprising that turned ugly after an end of fuel subsidies.

Analysts say the protests have shocked President Iván Duque, and predict he will hold off many of his economic reforms for the time being.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

Add comment