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Seattle Activists Stand in Solidarity With Colombian Protests

by Kayla Blau

The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist’s mission. 

Colombian activists in Seattle are working tirelessly to spread awareness about mass protests in their home country. 

Countrywide protests in the South American country were sparked in late April thanks to a tax reform bill proposed by right-wing President Iván Duque, which would have placed extreme taxes on essential items such as eggs, milk, and gasoline. The legislation would have hit working-class and middle-class families hardest, who were already struggling before COVID-19 hit the country.

Colombia is one of the most economically unequal countries in the world. A 2018 report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that it would take 11 generations for a poor Colombian to approach the average income in Colombia, the longest time period out of all 30 countries in the report.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this divide, shrinking Colombia’s economy by almost 7% and increasing the poverty rate to more than 42%

“I shouldn’t be forced to leave my country just for a chance at a better future,” Evelyn Carvajal, a Colombian social worker based in Medellín told the Emerald.

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