Colombia: Petro Seeks Support In The Streets For His Reforms a Month Before Regional Elections

Tomorrow, Wednesday, Colombians will go out on a march for life in support of the Petro Government's reforms. This occurs one month before the regional elections .

 Indigenous people from various regions of the country camp in the Tercer Milenio Park

Photo: EFE/Carlos Ortega


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Leer en español: Colombia: Petro busca en las calles apoyo para sus reformas a un mes de elecciones regionales

Colombians will take to the streets this Wednesday in a demonstration "for life" called by President Gustavo Petro, who has called on unions, workers, indigenous people and peasants to defend the reforms promoted by his Government, a month before the elections of mayors and governors.

The main concentration will be held in the Plaza de Bolívar, the center of political power in Colombia, where thousands of people are expected, and there will also be mobilizations in the rest of the country.

Petro's ministers have been in charge of promoting the call, which is why complaints have arisen of alleged government aid to popular organizations to join the demonstrations, something that the Executive denies.

Close to regional elections

The opposition has criticized the marches because they occur one month before the regional elections on October 29 in which mayors, governors, municipal councils and regional assemblies will be elected.

According to the political forces opposed to Petro, the president knows that in these elections he may suffer setbacks in several important cities and departments, including Bogotá, Medellín and Barranquilla, and they accuse him of organizing the demonstrations to influence the electorate.

The great mobilization "For peace, for life, for social justice" is promoted, according to the Government, by more than 50 social organizations throughout the country, labor unions, ethnic and indigenous groups that support the social reforms promoted by Petro, especially those of health, labor, pension and education, which are stopped in Congress.

In response to this call, a caravan of buses full of indigenous people arrived in Bogotá on Monday who, in addition to participating in this event, will hold their National Indigenous Congress on September 28 and 29, and hope to meet with Petro on Thursday.

The Minister of the Interior, Luis Fernando Velasco, said that "some support" will be provided to the indigenous people, especially in transportation and other expenses in accordance "with a provision of the Constitutional Court" that orders the Executive to help organize the events of these communities.

Velasco assured that the other sectors – teachers, unions, social organizations, etc. – will not have any help from the Government.

The minister also denied messages circulating on social networks, according to which the Ministry of the Interior has offered internet to community associations from several municipalities in the department of Cundinamarca in exchange for them going to the demonstrations.

"We have nothing to do with that call and it seems irresponsible to me if someone is making it," he said. However, he said that the Government "welcomes social mobilization" in support of policies of peace and change.

The Attorney General, Margarita Cabello, called on Minister Velasco to guarantee that the marches called by the Government "do not become platforms to promote any candidacy."

Musical show and speech

For the protesters who arrive at the Plaza de Bolívar, the Government organized a concert by groups such as Aterciopelados, La 33, La Pacifican Power, Rap Bang Club, Plu con Plá, Lucía Vargas, Ácido Pantera, Raúl Numerao and Pasajeros, among others.

At the end of the concert, President Petro is expected to give a speech.

For her part, the Vice Minister for Social Dialogue, Lilia Solano, assured that popular pressure is important for Congress to approve Petro's reforms.

"Congress is the one that makes the laws, but together we have to carry out these reforms by expressing our support for these initiatives," said the official.

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