Colombia to Free Detainees of Anti-Neoliberal Protests of 2021

The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, announced Saturday that hundreds of political prisoners detained during the anti-neoliberal protests in 2021 will be released before Christmas Eve.

“I announce that hundreds of young people arrested for participating in protests will be declared as ‘workers of peace’ before Christmas Eve in Colombia,” said Petro during a dialogue with presidents of Community Action Boards in the city of Pasto.

By being declared ‘workers of peace’, the detained would regain their freedom.

“This government will not persecute youth and activist leaders – who were simply expressing themselves – by keeping them imprisoned in Colombian jails, when they have the right to spend their Christmas with their families,” Petro stressed.

The Colombian president maintained that “the right to protest is a democratic right, to express oneself, to mobilize, these are democratic rights. Governments that order their police to kill, imprison, torture, and detain young people, are not democratic governments, this is the government of change”.

Colombia experienced weeks of protests in 2021 that began against a proposed tax reform, but grew into a general anti-neoliberal mobilization that was repressed by the police forces on orders of the ex-right-wing President Iván Duque. At least 83 protestors were killed and hundreds were arrested.

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By Kawsachun News

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