By the ELN Digital Team, 3 December 2018
Central Command, COCE
Popular struggle is advancing in Colombia, that´s the lesson of the events of the last three months. In this period the country has seen a growing and significant climate of social mobilisation and the effective intervention of the parliamentary opposition, denouncing acts of corruption involving, among others, the Attorney General and the Sarmiento Angulo group. Also in this period the new Government led by President Duque has had an approval rate of only 27 per cent. Meanwhile, because of social pressure and opposition, the Government has had to give way in its intention to impose VAT on all basic necessities, and has had to provide some resources – although inadequate – for public universities.
Since October 10th the country has witnessed 7 great days of protest, with various mass activities and massive gatherings in the main cities. The last two were convened by newly formed movements of unity and convergence, which have also called for more protests on December 6th and 11th.
It´s also worth noting the formation of UNEES as an instrument of networking and unionization of University students, which together with ACREES and FENARES has been leading the current student struggles.
It should also be noted that in these first months the left-wing opposition in Parliament has played an important role in questioning the unpopular reforms promoted by the Democratic Centre.
In the circumstances just described the Government has been forced to retreat, even if only a little and temporarily, in some of its initial measures and its most severe policies, and that is a real victory for the popular forces. The most important thing in this respect is its U-turn regarding VAT on basic necessities.
The Government of ex-president Uribe’s followers still has much room to maneuver, and the regime enjoys a favourable relationship of forces. But it is equally true that the advances of the popular forces are encouraging; there are signs of growing resistance, there are new situations in the country and in several respects, a better situation for alternative movements for peace and change. This is new and hopeful.
The popular and democratic forces face the challenge of maintaining and stimulating these factors of growth, of helping convergence and unity, promoting the growth of protests, supporting opposition actions in the institutional sphere and encouraging resistance to the regime´s aggressive plans.
Taken from the original https://eln-voces.net/la-sociedad-presiona-gobierno-retrocede/