[Marxism] Thursday in Colombia

Anthony Boynton anthony.boynton at gmail.com
Sun Nov 17 13:20:42 MST 2019

*Quick update on Colombia*

With all eyes moving from Ecuador, to Peru, to Chile and now to Bolivia,
public attention has moved away from Colombia. It may be about to return.

This coming Thursday, November 21, there will be a national work stoppage
in Colombia. Usually these things are symbolic protests, sort of like a
walk in the park, but this year is likely to be different.

The popularity of Uribismo, and of Uribe’s puppet Ivan Duque (the current
president) has plummeted. In the recent departmental and municipal
elections, Uribe’s Centro Democratic was smashed. Duque’s approval rating
according to the latest poll is only 27%, down from a high of 64% early in
his term of office. His disapproval rating is 69%.

The recent resignation of the Minister of Defense in the face of his orders
to bomb a town that resulted in the deaths of many children, and then his
cover-up of the crime, is just the most obvious symptom of the government’s
internal crisis.

The CUT (Central Unitaria de TrabajadoresI, FECODE (teachers’ union), all
the key student organizations, and many, many other organizations are all
promoting the event. Very few people who plan to participate have any idea
about what the demands of these organizations are, but people are planning
to go in a general protest and expression of anger about the government’s
austerity measures, recent military actions, corruption, antipathy to
public education, and failure to do anything to improve the country’s
stagnant economy.

The Uribistas are running an online and a media advertising campaign
against participation in the event. It is not aimed at the left but is
rather aimed at the children of the Uribistas, especially the private
university students who have for the first time shown signs of join the
mass movement in large numbers. The Uribista effort seems to be propelling
even more support for the event this Thursday.

One of the reasons that students from the private universities are joining
the movement was the attack by the riot police on students at Universidad
Javeriana a few months ago.

Now, many are worried about police provocations on Thursday to justify
police attacks. Despite these worries, this event is likely to be the first
major challenge to the Duque government.


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