Thousands protest in Colombia against the policies of President Gustavo Petro

Thousands protest in Colombia against the policies of President Gustavo Petro

Thousands of people marched this Sunday through the streets of Bogotá and other major cities in Colombia to show their disagreement with the government of President Gustavo Petro and his reforms, especially in the health sector.

The mobilization, called by various opposition sectors and called the “March of the White Coats,” was initially announced by the Colombian Association of Surgery, but then political opponents of the president joined in, who at the beginning of April rejected the health reform. presented by the Executive to Congress.

The proposal proposed reducing the intermediation of private actors and giving the State greater control of money and the health service that the government has described as deficient.

After the rejection of the reform, the government announced decrees that modify the health system in the same sense that the reform wanted to do and ordered forced intervention to manage two of the largest Health Promotion Entities (EPS) in the country: Sanitas and New EPS.

In the march, workers from the intervened EPS could be seen dressed in white t-shirts with their logos, which warned that the health of 17 million of their members was at risk.

Senators and politicians from right-wing and far-right parties such as the Democratic Center, Cambio Radical and Conservador, left the National Park towards the Plaza de Bolívar, in the historic center of Bogotá and headquarters of Congress, where they shouted “no to Petro's reforms.” ” and “Petro out.”

According to Miguel Uribe Turbay, senator of the Democratic Center, the main opposition party, this march is the opportunity to tell President Gustavo Petro “that we do not agree with the constituent assembly with which he intends to destroy democracy and cling to power,” referring to to the president's idea of ​​convening a National Constituent Assembly if his reform package is not approved in Congress.

For her part, Senator María Fernanda Cabal, from the same party, told the Voice of America: “the change turned out to be a farce, a fiasco, an imitation of Chaves, not even with those of us who believe in freedom, because we know that Petro is a threat to the stability of Colombia.”

“We are sufficiently uncomfortable with this administration, with this government and with everything that the president has implemented, we do not agree with his reforms, we want to see a leading president, not one who wants to be noticed,” he told the Voice of AmericaCarlos Chamorro, 60, a protester.

According to the Unified Command Center of the Police, around 200 thousand people came out to mobilize from 10:00 in the morning (local time) through the streets of different Colombian cities, to show their disagreement with the social reforms promoted by the government. of Petro, his proposal to form a constituent and complaining about economic and security problems.

The last major mobilization called by sectors opposed to the government took place on March 6, the day after protesters supporting the executive took to the streets to show their support, which has become a constant since Petro's arrival to power. in August 2022, with mobilizations for and against the government, the first leftist in the South American nation.

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