Al Jazeera's Sebastian Walker asks why a system that was designed to help Haitians ended up exacerbating their misery.
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The clatter of the ‘cacerolazo’ – pots and pans hammered in unison by thousands of people – filled the air across Colombian cities and towns on Sunday, as protesters maintained pressure against the country’s government. The noisy demonstration followed days of popular protest, not least a general strike on November 21 that brought more than 250,000 people to the streets.
The rallies have drawn people from across all walks of Colombian life, with student groups and labour unions in the vanguard. Among their demands are an end to cuts in public education, changes to the pension and tax system, official action against corruption and measures to tackle economic inequality. A rise in violent attacks against indigenous leaders and rights activists has also fuelled public anger, with the government facing criticism for a lag on implementing a 2016 peace deal between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the previous administration of Juan Manuel Santos.
The scale of the latest protests has compelled President Ivan Duque to call for a “national dialogue” aimed at addressing six areas of concern. But many protest leaders say mere talks are insufficient and that the government must do more to show it is serious about implementing real change.
As the protesters call for another national strike on December 4, we’ll look at what lies ahead for Colombia. Join the conversation.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Sergio Guzman @SergioGuzmanE
Director, Colombia Risk Analysis
Gabriel Santos @GabrielSantosCD
Congressman, Democratic Center Party
Protests in Colombia spark backlash against Venezuelan migrants – Reuters
Colombia's protests prompt Duque to seek $1bn oil dividend – Al Jazeera
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