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Colombian president lifts tax reform after mass protests | Criticism Story

Tax reshuffle by right-wing President Ivan Duque brought public outrage and protests throughout Colombia.

Colombian President Ivan Duque has said he is removing ideas for tax reform after thousands of people staged street protests across South America for several days in protest.

In a video on Sunday, Duque said he had asked Congress to “repeal the law that the Ministry of Finance has enacted and expedite the drafting of a new law which is the fruit of an agreement, in order to avoid financial uncertainty”.

The desired change, which the right wing government has insisted on is essential for the establishment of Colombian finance, the continued borrowing and funding of labor has provoked public outrage and protests.

The plan included new or additional taxes for citizens and business owners, as well as the introduction of sales taxes on basic necessities and food.

Colombian President Ivan Duque announces tax evasion in Bogota, Colombia on May 2 [Colombia Presidency/Handout via Reuters]

But many Colombian workers, who are still struggling financially, say the changes will have a profound effect on them.

“We have come to say ‘no’ to tax changes,” Sol Martinez, teacher, told Al Jazeera at the show at the capital, Bogota, Wednesday. “They rob us of poor people, while giving everything to the rich.”

Human Rights Watch has confirmed the deaths of six people in connection with the protests. “I reiterate my call for the demonstration to be peaceful and for security forces to respect human rights,” said Jose Miguel Vivanco, director of HRW in the United States. he wrote.

Mr Duque said Friday that the change would be remedied, but could not be reversed.

The announcement of the president of the right wing on Sunday was “a great victory for the opposition” which also shows “how weak Ivan Duque’s government is at the moment,” Al Jazeera’s Alessandro Rampietti said in Bogota.

Rampietti said Duque had just joined the manoeuver and had seceded from politics.

“There was a lot of debate about this change from the legislators and the parties that make up the alliance of his government, as well as his party. So I don’t think he had much of an opportunity unless he eventually stopped this change,” he said.

Demonstrations take part in protests against tax evasion in Bogota, Colombia, on May 1 [Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters]

Legislators, organizations and other groups hailed the announcement as a victory. The celebrated Cacerolazos, a traditional display where people beat pots and pans, is heard elsewhere.

“It is the youth, cultural organizations and citizens who have encouraged people who have seen death and won the government,” Senator Ivan Cepeda left on Twitter. “The government should not provide the same changes to cosmetics. Citizens will not tolerate fraud. ”

However, Duque on Sunday said a change in taxes was still needed.

He said political parties, government officials, business leaders and cultural groups would help others in the last few days.

There is a consensus on the need for temporary taxes on businesses and shares, an increase in the income tax for the richest and the strongest in government, says Duque.

“It’s a moment for all of us to work together without harm,” he said.

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