An estimated over 207,000 protesters across Colombia upset at decades of right-wing rule took to the streets Thursday in the latest progressive people's movement in Latin America to explode into the streets, following movements in Chile, post-coup Bolivia, and Ecuador. After months of protests, finally a space for debate about a new constitution has been opened, and important achievements such as a raise in the minimum wage were also gained. Although Duque has only been in power for a year and a half, he has a disapproval rating of 69% according to the the last Gallup poll, and 70% of Colombians believe that “things are getting worse” compared with last year. Legal notice | If you have any queries about republishing please contact us. The protests began over a planned hike in transport fares last week, but have turned into a movement against Chile's economic model of creeping privatization, low wages and growing inequality. Latin America’s Wave of Protests Was Historic—Then the Pandemic Arrived The coronavirus and lockdowns have worsened the region’s economic divides—and set the stage for more political upheaval. Imagen: Paro Nacional de Colombia. A report by The Washington Post published in November also revealed the death tolls for different protests around the world this year. With Santiago engulfed in rioting over several days, security forces and protesters clashed repeatedly. The sight of soldiers on the streets is unsettling for many citizens of a country still haunted by memories of military rule under dictator Augusto Pinochet. In reality, it was a protest against low pensions, high gas and electricity bills, and unaffordable social services such as health and education that were inherited from an ultra neoliberal dictatorship lead by general Pinochet in the 1980s. "Economic hardship has focused protesters' anger onto related issues such as inequality and corruption," they wrote. Why are people protesting in Latin America's most prosperous country? However, the disproportionate use of violence and repression against protesters in the region has also been a common yet worrying theme, which represents a serious threat to democracy in Latin America. Every aspect of public life there has been privatized: pensions, health care, education," said Hesse. In Colombia, over 500,000 people marched on the 21st of November after various sectors of civil society called a national strike, that has continued intermittently since then, becoming the most important mass mobilization in the previous decades. Even so, year 2019 ended with 230 social and human rights leaders assasinated while general violence killed more than 10,000 people. Opinion. The Americas. Sometimes protests are continuous but not always frequent. Protesters seek cover from riot police wielding a baton. Scandals, autocracy and anger at inequality stir unrest across the continent. France), and others occurred in countries in which people mobilized on a massive scale for the first time in decades, such as Algeria, Colombia and Iran. | Mobile version, Berlin's new rent freeze: How it compares globally, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. (23.10.2019), © 2020 Deutsche Welle | A protest against the killing of Black people in Rio de Janeiro, May 31. Hesse said such extreme inequality between rich and poor can be seen in many countries across the continent. The social trends behind the protests can be seen in other South American countries, said Valeska Hesse, director of the Latin America office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), a political think tank with ties to Germany's Social Democratic Party. He condemned the violence seen in Chile, but pointed out that many peaceful protests are being staged by citizens demanding their rights. Now it's Colombia's turn. Armored personnel carriers drove slowly through the streets deploying heavily-armed troops as violence worsened in the capital, Santiago, and across the country. Please check individual images for licensing details. Haitians demonstrated their malaise this year by protesting against extreme poverty, but they also took to the streets to demand clarity over what happened to the millions of dollars that the country received from Venezuela that disappeared without a trace due to rampant corruption within the current government. In a country where the monthly wage of 70% of the population is below $700, the announcement of President Piñera that the Santiago metro fare would be rising from 800 to 830 pesos ($1.15) created a social explosion that would turn out to be extremely difficult to contain. Bettina Horst, deputy director of Chile's conservative think tank Libertad y Desarrollo, is more skeptical. Millions of people have taken to the streets to rail against their governments, economic inequality, political corruption and an array of other issues, prompting mass transit breakdowns and a brutal response from police. Protesters, however, don't appear to placated. Sign up for the newsletter here. Privacy Policy | Aware that they don’t live in real democracies, the people of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia are taking to the streets. In 2019, we saw protests and disruptions take place in several countries across Latin America. In February of 2019, huge protests against President Jovenel Moïse and Prime Minister Jean-Henry Ceant erupted in Haiti, after a year of intermittent mobilisations. World 's most prosperous country biggest impact throughout 2019, we saw mobilizations. Confirmed it had shot people dead while chasing looters country to extend his presidential mandate a week after erupted... 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