BOGOTA – Colombian students, workers and indigenous groups protested on Thursday to demand that the administration of President Ivan Duque increase the budget for public universities and to oppose a bill that seeks to impose a 19 percent sales tax.
The protests took place in various areas of Bogota and were organized by secondary and university students.
The students were joined by indigenous people from the western province of Choco, who arrived in Bogota last week to demand that the government guarantee protection to human rights activists from their communities.
The indigenous groups decided to join the protests saying that the students’ demands were everybody’s demands.
Colombian students also mounted protests in the main plazas of cities such as Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla and Popayan.
The students, who have been carrying out demonstrations for several weeks, are demanding that the government increase the budget for public universities.
According to education specialists, Colombia’s public university system has a roughly $1-billion deficit that prevents its proper operation.
Workers from Colombia’s main labor federations also joined the protests, who are demanding that the government withdraw a proposal to levy a 19 percent Value Added Tax on most consumer products.