On April 28, 2021, people’s movements across Colombia - including students, labor unions, and indigenous activists - marched in every major city to protest President Ivan Duque’s proposed economic reforms. These reforms, such as an increase to the value added tax (VAT) of basic goods, would disproportionately harm poor and working people, who are already suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic. In response, Duque sent the military and police to violently suppress these protests, killing at least 26 people in the process. Despite this, the people kept pushing for their demand to withdraw the economic reforms, which they won, and are demanding accountability for the police brutality and police murder of the protestors.

This is not the first time Duque has used the police to violently suppress protests. Just last year, 13 people were killed by police during protests for Javier Ordóñez, another victim of police violence. Since assuming the presidency, Duque has served as a pawn of the U.S. government acting against the interests of the Colombian people. He collaborated with former U.S. President Donald Trump to undermine the government of neighboring Venezuela and has failed to adhere to the peace accords which ended Colombia’s decades long civil war. The United States has had a longstanding interest in Colombia, funding paramilitary groups and even sending special forces to assassinate indigenous activists and labor union organizers.

We understand recent events in Colombia as a bid by a U.S. backed dictator to maintain power by violently suppressing people’s movements. We stand in solidarity with the people of Colombia and we demand an end to all U.S. backed regimes.