Home Headlines Thousands march in Colombia in support of reforms put forward by President Gustavo Petro

Thousands march in Colombia in support of reforms put forward by President Gustavo Petro

by Yucatan Times
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Thousands of people took to the streets across Colombia’s major cities on Tuesday to support economic and social reforms put forward by President Gustavo Petro as part of efforts to reduce poverty, exclusion and inequality in the South American country.

(REUTERS).- The rallies, called for by leftist Petro, took place one day after he presented a health reform to Congress which looks to prevent and treat diseases quickly, increase access, raise healthcare-sector salaries and fight corruption by eliminating payment intermediaries.

Petro also hopes to present reforms on labor and pensions, while also pushing for programs to guarantee free access to university education for students without the money to do so, as well as delivering subsidies to impoverished families and the poor elderly.

“What President Petro is doing seems good to me, we need a change, for the poor to have access to health, education, decent housing,” street vendor Maria Isabel Cubillos, 43, told Reuters in capital Bogota.

While Petro built a broad coalition in Congress with support from left, center and right-wing parties, which helped him push through a tax reform late last year, projects such as the health reform have caused fractures both in that alliance and even within the government.

The marches are meant to signal to Congress and the Constitutional Court that the proposed reforms have widespread backing. Reuters images showed large crowds that included labor unions, waving huge Colombian flags and signs in support of Petro.

“We support the proposals for change for life, health, agrarian, pension and education reforms. It is not fair that the poor continue to be subjugated, we need social justice, more equity, that there are no privileges for health services health,” said 55-year-old Nelson Pereira.

Laws approved by Congress must be examined by the Constitutional Court to assess their legality.

The marches took place without incident and peaceful, according to the government and Colombia’s national police.

Colombia’s opposition called for marches and rallies in cities across Colombia on Wednesday to reject Petro’s reforms, arguing they threaten the country’s economic stability and risk plunging it into more poverty.

TYT Newsroom

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