With a new national strike, Colombia’s anti-government protests enter their fourth week on Wednesday.
The National Strike Committee, which coordinates the strike and peaceful anti-government marches, called for a new days of strikes to pressure the government into negotiations.
Attempts to violently repress the protests against far-right President Ivan Duque have allegedly killed more than 50 people and triggered permanent protests throughout Colombia.
The protests have spurred the resignation of Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla and Foreign Minister Claudia Blum and criminal charges before the International Criminal Court against Duque and Defense Minister Diego Molano.
The president on Monday ordered the “maximum deployment” of the security forces on Monday to clear roadblocks that have been set up throughout the country.
The strike organizers claimed Duque “declared war” against the protests that have only grown bigger and more chaotic in response to the violence.
While Wednesday’s national strike and marches are organized by the National Strike Committee, other anti-government protests have erupted spontaneously.
In the countryside, people have additionally put up roadblocks, which has been causing food and fuel shortages in the southwest of the country.
Reports of violence have been reported in cities throughout Colombia, also where organized protests have been largely peaceful.
According to the government, this violence is caused by anti-government protesters while evidence indicates the security forces are responsible for violence and vandalism in many of these cities.
The president’s Peace Commissioner Miguel Ceballos and the National Strike Committee will resume talks that are accompanied by the United Nations and the Catholic Church on Thursday.
The social organizations that organize the strikes have a list of demands to end their protests, but initially want the government to agree to their initial demand to end the violent repression of peaceful protests.
The police brutality has further eroded support for Duque, whose response to the protests is rejected by more than 80% of the population, according to a poll that was published on Sunday.