BOGOTÁ, Colombia — The dead include a ninth grader who went out to protest with his brother; an artist shot in the head as cameras rolled; and a teenager whose mother’s anguished cries of grief — “son, I want to be with you!” — have been shared thousands of times online.
At least 19 people were killed and hundreds more injured during days of protests across Colombia, in which tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets to demonstrate against a tax overhaul meant to fill a pandemic-related fiscal hole.
On Sunday, President Iván Duque announced that he would withdraw the current proposal, and instead seek a new plan, this time borne out of consensus. “The reform is not a whim,” he said. “The reform is a necessity.”
South America in particular, has been especially pummeled by the virus, and many countries in the region face dire fiscal conditions if reforms are not made.
Mr. Duque was among the first to try to address his country’s economic problems, and the public response here does not bode well for other regional leaders, said Sergio Guzmán, the director of Colombia Risk Analysis, a consultancy.
“This is one of those moments where a key
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