May 6, 2021

Ukraine Breaking News

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Colombian finance minister resigns amid deadly protests

Colombian finance minister resigns amid deadly protests

Colombia’s finance minister resigned after five days of protests over a tax reform proposal that resulted in at least 17 deaths

BOGOTA, Colombia – Colombia’s finance minister resigned Monday after five days of protests over a proposed tax reform that resulted in at least 17 deaths.

Alberto Carrasquilla’s resignation comes the day after President Iván Duque withdrew the tax plan from congress in response to protests, which included riots and violent clashes with police.

According to Colombia’s Human Rights Ombudsman, 16 protesters and a policeman stabbed to death have been killed since Wednesday.

Carrasquilla had engineered the tax reform, which aimed to raise $ 6.7 billion for the Colombian government as it struggles to pay off debts as it attempts to provide poor families with subsidies to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

Carrasquilla had also proposed a 19% sales tax on public services in middle-class neighborhoods and a wealth tax for people with net worth of $ 1.3 million or more.

The government said it needs money to pay for health care improvements and to continue implementing a basic income scheme that began during the pandemic.

Sergio Guzmán, a political analyst in Bogota, said Carrasquilla’s resignation could “encourage” protesters to stay on the streets until the government responds to other demands such as police reform or an end to plans to fumigate. illegal crops of coca with a chemical that could cause cancer. He stressed that the president of Colombia now has few options other than to start tax negotiations with different political and social groups.

“The problem is that Duque has little credibility now,” Guzmán said.

On Sunday, the president of Colombia encouraged politicians to come together and design another tax plan.

“Whether or not to withdraw this tax reform is not what should be discussed,” Duque said in a nationally televised speech. “The real debate is how to ensure the continuation of social programs.”

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