Protests in Colombia rise to almost 1,000 per month

Twice as many protests over past two years

Protests in Colombia
Protests in Colombia have risen over the past two years.
  • Protests in Colombia rose over the past two years to almost double the total of the four years prior.
  • The government of President Ivan Duque has faced a long series of coordinated protests, more than his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos.
  • Santos oversaw the signing of a failed peace deal with the FARC group known for terrorism and drug trafficking.

Protests in Colombia have become increasingly common, with the number rising to almost 1,000 per month over the past two years, according to official data released by the Ministry of Defense.

In a report sent to Congress in early November, the ministry said it had recorded 25,870 social unrest events, including mobilizations, strikes, work stoppages, blockades and assemblies, between August 7, 2018 (the day President Ivan Duque took the oath of office) and October 25, 2020.

The figure marks a steep surge in protests in Colombia, which have averaged almost 32 per day over the past 26 months.

“I think that never in history have they been so cruel against a government like this one of the President Ivan Duque: 25,800 protests in two years. That is the (type) of productivity promoted by the unions and the left (movements) in Colombia,” tweeted Jose F. Lafaurie, president of the National Federation of Cattle Breeders (Fedegan).


Protests in Colombia double

The number of protests in Colombia over the past two years is almost twice as high as the 14,338 recorded in the four years prior, during the presidency of Juan Manuel Santos between 2014 and 2018.

Santos’ government was controversial and included a complex peace negotiation process in Havana, Cuba, with the FARC terrorist and drug trafficking organization.

The peace agreement was eventually defeated in a 2016 referendum but Santos signed it with a group that was, at the time, suspected of being the largest drug trafficking organization in the world.

That treaty did not work as well as intended. A large armed faction of FARC abandoned the process and is now back in the business of trafficking cocaine and mobilizing coca leaf harvesters against Duque’s government.

November 21 will mark the first anniversary of the greatest protests that Duque’s government has seen in two years in power and the beginning of a coordinated series of protests that hit the country throughout the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, until the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Latin American country and it was put in lockdown.

Social unrest is an ongoing problem. The COVID-19 lockdowns were expected to tamp down on social unrest in the country but had the opposite effect. As far back as April, the government had to rely on the army to enforce quarantines.

The past year has seen an uptick in social unrest around the world. Through 2019, more than 250,000 people protested in Colombia against corruption. Social unrest in Colombia erupted again in September after a protester was killed.

Listen to Antivaxxers?!, our podcast series that considers the rise of antivaxxer movements and vaccine hesitancy, in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.