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For weeks, thousands of Colombians have taken to the streets in Colombia’s major cities, often at the risk of their own lives as police officers have responded with lethal force. What started as demonstrations against a tax reform — seen as an additional burden on already economically vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic — transformed into a rallying call for more equality and less military and police violence. The protests are called el Paro Nacional, or the National Strike.

The strikers represent diverse groups within Colombian society, with unionists, students, Indigenous people, workers, and teachers on the streets. The protests have also transpired in the digital realm, with reports of censorship, hacktivism, and manipulation of the online narrative. Talks with the Colombian government led by Iván Duque are ongoing as of June 1 but frequently stall.

Most of the demonstrations are peaceful. Yet, the number of victims has increased each week, with reports of deliberate police violence. Here is a frequently updated tally made by the Institute of Studies for Peace and Development (Indepaz). The United Nations and European Union condemned the excessive use of force in Colombia.

Global Voices contributors cover different points of view on the street protests and online activity during Colombia’s National Strike. Take a look at our stories below:

Stories about Fighting rising inequality in Colombia

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