Colombians in Madrid march to support protests in home country

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: May 15, 2021, 11:12 PM(IST)

Colombian protesters in Madrid Photograph:( Reuters )

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The protesters waved Colombian flags and chanted slogans to demand solidarity to their people. Colombians took Madrid's Gran Via street and walked for hours

Thousands of Colombians living in Madrid marched on Saturday (May 15) and protested against the Colombian government under President Ivan Duque and the police violence used to quell street protests in the Andean country.

The protesters waved Colombian flags and chanted slogans to demand solidarity to their people. Colombians took Madrid's Gran Via street and walked for hours.

"We want to support all our people in Colombia who are being mistreated, who are being murdered for fighting for the fundamental rights," said 52-year-old Colombian Maria Eugenia Rojas, living in Madrid for 14 years.

Demosnstartions in Colombia began last week. They were fuelled by outrage at the government plan to raise sales taxes. That proposal was cancelled, but protesters' demands now include a basic income and the withdrawal of a long-debated health reform that opponents say is too vague to correct inequalities.

Protesters, who originally called marches against a now-cancelled tax plan, have expanded demands to include a basic income, an end to police violence and education and jobs for young people, among other things.

The death toll from protests is disputed. The human rights ombudsman is investigating 41 civilian deaths, while the attorney general's office has confirmed 14.

Colombians are the largest group of Latin American immigrants in Spain where 63,762 are registered. Many fear for their families and loved ones back home.

(With inputs from agencies)

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