Colombia’s anti-government protests will resume on Tuesday with marches in the country’s largest cities.
The online calls to resume protests two months after a national strike kicked off weeks of protests initiated on social media, but received the endorsement of strike leaders last week.
Since then, namely students have been trying to promote the resumption of protests that waned down over the holidays.
The social organizations that make up the so-called National Strike Committee have been meeting to define strategies that would force the government of President Ivan Duque to negotiate demands.
The government, which initially tried to violently strike down the protests, has so far refused to negotiate despite calls to do so by the inspector general and political parties.
The students, labor unions, indigenous and farmers organizations, and dozens of other organizations demand far-reaching changes to the government’s broadly rejected economic and peace policies.
The security forces’ initial violent response to the protests plummeted Duque’s approval rating but this has not broken his resistance to negotiations.
The big question is whether the social organizations are able to recover the momentum they were able to maintain until December 22 when a concert in Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city, marked the end of last year’s protests.
The protests are less likely to be met with violence after mayors who gave the president’s far-right political party a beating in local elections in October took office on January 1.
The police commanders who oversaw the violent responses to urban protests have all been replaced.
Duque has replaced his propaganda chief in his latest attempt to recover public approval and dissuade public protest without having to make concessions that could cause a split his party.