Tens of thousands of Colombians have joined protests in major cities against the proposed tax reform.
The protesters took to the streets against the court’s decision to postpone the marches, as there is currently an increase in Covid-19 cases.
In several cities, protesters clashed with police special forces, and it is reported that one person died as a result of Potassium “incident with a demonstration.”
The government says reform is key to easing the economic crisis.
Colombia’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell 6.8 percent last year, the deepest crash in six months, and the coronavirus epidemic has raised its unemployment rate even further.
Colombia currently has one of the lowest tax revenues of any country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2019, it collected 20% of GDP in taxes; Only Mexico had a smaller percentage of THC countries.
The government of President Ivan Duque claims that the time has come to increase its taxes if it wants to cover its expenses.
The proposed reform would lower the payroll tax threshold, affecting anyone with a monthly income of $ 656 or more.
It will eliminate many of the current exemptions enjoyed by individuals, as well as increase business taxes. The number of goods subject to value added tax (VAT) will also increase.
The proposal has angered many Colombians who say they are already struggling to feed their families during the epidemic.
The protest was organized by the country’s largest unions, but was joined by middle-class Colombians and members of indigenous groups.
And while many protesters said they were opposed to tax reform, indigenous protesters in Cali toppled a statue of Sebastian de Belalcasar, one of Colombia’s conquerors in the 16th century.
Indigenous leaders say the Spanish statue represents five centuries of genocide and slavery.