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Charlotte Colombians' Protests Echo Anti-Government Sentiments From Protesters In Their Homeland

Colombian Protest in Charlotte
Dania Lizeth Guarín
Members of the Colombian community in Charlotte gathered at Marshall Park on Thursday for a vigil honoring the lives of those who have died during protests in Colombia.

Members of the Colombian community in Charlotte have been raising awareness about the ongoing unrest between civilians, the national police and the government in their native country.

In the past week, a few dozen of Charlotte's Colombians and their supporters have been standing for hours in parts of uptown. They carry posters and signs echoing the anti-government sentiment of protesters across the United States and in Colombia.

The most recent demonstration was held Thursday afternoon at Marshall Park in uptown Charlotte. Attendees were asked to bring signs, flags, and candles for a vigil honoring the lives of those who have died during protests in Colombia.

The protests were sparked by a proposed tax reform that would increase the cost of essential food items and utilities like coffee and electricity. The proposal has since been withdrawn by Colombian president Iván Duque. But the demonstrations there have continued as a response to the government's failure to handle systemic violence, poverty, and the FARC-Colombia peace process over the last three years.

At least 23 protesters and one police officer have died in the demonstrations.

In Charlotte, anti-Colombian government protests will continue at 11 a.m. Saturday morning at First Ward Park.

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Laura Brache works with WFAE and La Noticia, an independent Spanish-language news organization based in Charlotte, through Report for America to cover immigration and deportation issues facing the Latino community. She also reports on the Charlotte immigration court, one of the toughest in the nation with the second-highest deportation rate in the country in 2019.