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Thousands of Colombians protest against Gustavo Petro's reforms

Tens of thousands of Colombians marched this Sunday (21) to reject the economic and social reforms proposed by President Gustavo Petro's government, the latest in a series of demonstrations against national policies.

The reforms, which Petro says will combat deep inequality but which opponents say will harm the country's already struggling economy, were the main campaign promises of the 64-year-old leader, who takes office in 2022.

Despite gray skies and rain, around 70,000 people marched in Bogotá, according to city government estimates, chanting “Petro out,” waving national flags and blowing trumpets before gathering in central Bolívar Square.

The march came after a Senate committee earlier this month rejected a health care reform proposal that aimed to take power away from insurers and expand access to health care, as the government took control of two large insurers that, according to him, they had not treated patients correctly.

The government is expected to propose a new version of the health reform when the new legislative session begins in July. Pension and labor reforms are still being debated by parliamentarians.

“This government’s policies are terrible. The health system, despite its flaws, was working and now Petro is destroying it, plunging patients who do not have medical care or medication into a crisis,” said Monica Leon, a 45-year-old doctor.

Accountant Miguel Angel Larrota, 52, said he was protesting bad governance and demanding that Petro “not destroy what works and end the corruption he promised to fight.”

Paloma Valencia, a senator from the opposition Democratic Center, a conservative political party founded by former president Álvaro Uribe, said the march was bringing together not only opponents but also people who voted for Petro two years ago.

People also took to the streets in the city of Medellín and in Cali, near the Pacific coast.

Source: CNN Brasil

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