Colombians took to the streets throughout the country today to protest a controversial tax reform that passed Congress in the final days of 2016. Gatherings were seen in Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, and Cartagena as well as cities including Bucramanga, Aremenia, and Ibagué, according to RCN Radio.
In addition to the tax reform, which increased the country’s value-added tax (VAT) from 16% to 19% among other major chagnes, many also convened to express their opposition to the annual minimum wage increase of 7%.
In the capital, demonstrators brought signs, megaphones, whistles, and pots and pans to bang in the historic Bolivar Plaza. In Medellin, about 100 came to Parque de Las Luces in a protest that was organized in part by Roberto Rengifo, the Antioquia coordinator of the National Anti-Corruption Movement (MONA).
In Cali, some 300 people came out. “I’m tired of the manipulation of the Congress members,” Alirio Picaporte, a protestor in Cali, told RCN. “The tax reform goes against the poor and it harms us all. I’m looking for change for this country.”