In April 2021, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Colombia to demand change. They rejected decades of state violence and deepening inequality. Over the course of three months, the largest protest in Colombian history spread to over 800 municipalities throughout the country. The months-long protests played a huge role in creating the conditions for the election of Gustavo Petro and Francia Marquez.
Changes are afoot in Colombia, and the inauguration of President Gustavo Petro and Vice President Francia Marquez on August 7, 2022 marks an important shift away from decades of political repression. However, more than 300 people accused of participating in the 2021 protests still remain locked up and/or are facing harsh sentences on trumped-up charges.
Political prisoners from the 2021 National Strike are currently on a hunger strike in four prisons around the country. Despite numerous promises from the Petro administration to address their situation, the prisoners continue to face dire conditions. The only demand that would bring an end to the hunger strike: a response from the national government regarding the December 2022 proposal emerging from political prisoners in Palmira for the creation of a “Table for Dialogue” (mesa de diálogo).
Last week, two hunger strikers in Jamundí sewed their mouths shut to refuse even water. As the strike enters its eighth day, various other hunger strikers are facing health complications.
Black Alliance for Peace
Colombia Freedom Collective
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Hunger Strike by Political Prisoners Enters Eighth Day
December 2022: Political Prisoners in Palmira Go On Hunger Strike
WTF is Going on in Latin America & the Caribbean: Colombia Erupts Against Neoliberalism
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WTF is Going on in Latin America & the Caribbean is a Popular Resistance broadcast in partnership with Black Alliance for Peace Haiti/Americas Team, CODEPINK, Common Frontiers, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Friends of Latin America, InterReligious Task Force on Central America, Massachusetts Peace Action and Task Force on the Americas.