Colombia’s Discontent

A national strike and march was convoked for by Colombian labour unions and social organisations for the Thursday, November 21st 2019 . N21, as it has come to be called, gave impetus to and rode upon the tide and momentum of student protests that had been ongoing since September. These protests were sparked by the government reneging on previous accords with the students and teachers to end a 2018 strike, but are also against changes proposed by the government to labour and fiscal legislation that would particularly affect young workers and higher education.

Widespread national discontent with the government of President Duque and his Centro Democrático party and the ongoing student protests promised to make the N21 march a big event, but it was the government’s overly hostile and hysterical reaction to the proposed strike and marches that propelled the issue to the centre of public debate, and ensured a massive attendance. However, it also fed narratives…

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