Mass Protests Break Out Against Leftist Colombian President

On April 21st, thousands of Colombians took to the streets to oppose socialist President Gustavo Petro and his proposed social reform program.

Videos posted to social media show the massive crowds demonstrating in many places, including Bogota, the capital. Footage shows a large group of protestors gathered around the presidential palace in Bolivar Plaza, some waving flags.

The far-left Petro has had many vocal opponents in Colombia since he took office in August 2022.  His opponents have gained ground since he proposed a social reform program that might lead to a constitutional rewrite. A national constituent assembly was the legislative vehicle that allowed for the last revision of the Constitution in 1991.  Petro declared that Colombia would have to do it again.

Petro argued for a constitutional amendment in a speech he gave last month in Valle del Cauca, arguing that institutions are obstructing the government’s social reform program.

According to Petro, the measures would combat alleged inequality, but opponents said the moves would hurt the already-suffering economy. According to reports, conservative business organizations and Colombia’s legislature are against Petro’s social reform proposals.

Congress wouldn’t approve a bill to increase the government’s hand in Colombia’s healthcare system, which would have supposedly reduced healthcare expenses. As a subsequent response, the government seized two of Colombia’s leading health insurers, on which the lives of millions of people rely.

According to Senator Paloma Valencia, from the opposing Democratic Center party (Conservative), which former President Alvaro Uribe established, the march united former Petro voters and detractors.

The policies of this administration are worrying, according to Doctor Monica Leon (45). The healthcare system was functioning despite its shortcomings. However, now that Petro is dismantling it, people without healthcare or medication are facing a catastrophe.

Accountant Miguel Angel Larrota (52) said he was taking a stand against corrupt leaders and urged Petro not to undermine successful initiatives