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Informal workers, who make up roughly 47 percent of Colombia’s workforce, have been the hardest hit and are also the most vulnerable to COVID-19. “We are young people representing a voice that is trying and seeking to transform our futures,” said Fabio Castro, director of activist drumming group Barbukana. Its economy has also deteriorated amid the restrictions, with some sectors only re-opening in September. Álvaro Uribe, a former president and leader of Duque’s political party, accused them of being “totalitarian socialists bent on destruction and nothing else”. The protests were a fraction of the size of the previous year’s event, and local media reported floods of consumers in shopping centres. For Maís, the leader of Sin Techos, today’s crisis is a direct extension of the colonisation of his people hundreds of years ago. Among them was the Indigenous Minga gathering from October 17 to 21, when 8,000 Indigenous people from the southwest of Colombia travelled hundreds of miles to the capital to demand governmental reform and protection for their territories and their leaders. Following the initial protest, other small demonstrations calling for increased government support started to pop up across Colombia. Their demands were ignored. Ruben Pinilla, a teacher and organiser for the District Association of Education Workers, said that thousands of protesters had taken part in several demonstrations since June, despite the restrictions. @media screen and (max-width: 600px) { (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia) The demonstrations follow a wave of protests … Families were starving while the government did nothing.”. (Diego Cuevas/NurPhoto via Getty Images) A recent joint report by Colombian and German research groups stated that these actors vying for the mining wealth of the department are “an explicit cause of death, displacement and threats to social leaders”. That number nationally in 2013, four years before the peace deal began being implemented, was only 10. The Central Union of Workers marched with banners declaring that “Duque neither listens nor negotiates.”. Territorial conflicts between armed groups aren’t the only battles being fought in Cauca. September 11, 2020 / 6:57 AM / CBS News Violent protests broke out in Bogotá, Colombia, on Wednesday night following the death of a Colombian father of … 1 4. Protesters are demanding a guaranteed income, more funding for health and education and an end to gender-based violence. What began in November as a “National Strike” against labour reforms, quickly evolved into a nationwide anti-government movement. The region is rich in minerals, and the lands of the Indigenous communities have been historically encroached upon by mining operations and actors that are both legal and illegal. In September, when a man was killed after police repeatedly shocked him with a taser in Bogota, the city exploded into protests. /*-->*/. Most of those killed have been Indigenous or Afro-Colombian people involved in the peace process in some way, and the western and southwestern regions – also the main coca-growing areas – have been hardest hit. Colombia has confirmed more than 1.25 million cases of COVID-19 and its death toll from the disease has passed 35,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. “They have even been accused of working with paramilitaries to violently defend their interests,” said Victoria. Duque’s critics say this decision is threatening Colombia’s peace and has made the dangerous situation in the western and southwestern regions even worse. 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