“They made us go hungry,” said Natalia Arévalo, 29, speaking in the streets of Bogotá. “And now they want to take what little we have left.”
On Monday, protests persisted in several major cities.
At least 16 civilians and a policeman died, according to the national mediator.
The protests come just as the country is going through the deadliest moment of the pandemic and, last week, had one of the highest per capita death rates in the world, according to a New York Times database that tracks deaths and infections.
Sergio Guzmán, the director of risk analysis in Colombia, a consultancy firm, said the government had waited too long to overturn the unpopular tax proposal, allowing anger and resentment to soar.
“Now it’s a lot more about how the government has run the country for the past two and a half years, it’s about lockdowns, it’s about popular discontent,” he said. Much frustration had simmered over the past year amid lockdowns, he added.