This post is also available in: Spanish
In the past several weeks, Colombia has been roiled by massive street protests and considerable unrest and violence, with some 42 reported deaths and hundreds injured. Cali, the country’s third largest city, has been the epicenter of the riots, nearly paralyzing economic activity, though the violence is now spreading to other urban centers. The human and economic toll in the sharply polarized Andean nation has been enormous.
Although an unpopular tax reform measure was the catalyst for the latest round of demonstrations, discontent has been building in Colombia in recent years around issues of inequality, poor public services, corruption, and impunity. The devastating effects of the pandemic – poverty has climbed to more than 40 percent – have only aggravated an already serious situation.
Peaceful protests reflecting legitimate grievances, combined with destructive acts of vandalism, looting, and road blockages, have complicated efforts by the Duque administration to get the situation under control. Although there have been attempts to quell the unrest and calm tensions through dialogue, reports of serious human rights violations committed by government security forces are troubling and have been condemned by the United Nations, European Union, Organization of American States, and influential voices in Washington, DC.
We are pleased that a panel of experts will share their thoughts about the mix of factors that have been driving the current unrest, assess how the Duque administration, political parties, and civil society organizations have responded, and propose a constructive and economically and politically realistic path forward.
We invite participants to submit questions using the Q&A function in Zoom OR to email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that this conversation will be held in Spanish. Simultaneous interpretation in English is available for those who join the event online through the RSVP.
Watch the event here in Spanish:
Co-Chair, Facebook Oversight Board; Expert, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression (@cboteromarino)
President, Manos Visibles; Former Minister of Culture, Colombia (@PaulaMorenoZ)
Director, Radio Caracol – Prisa (@asantosrubino)
Former Mayor of Cali, Colombia (@MauriceArmitage)
President, Inter-American Dialogue (@MichaelShifter)