Tens of thousands of people demonstrated on Sunday April 21 in the main cities of Colombia against the left-wing government of Gustavo Petro, whose popularity is at an all-time low after twenty months in power.

At the call of medical organizations, the opposition, centrist political forces and former allies who reject several reforms, including its plan to nationalize health services, these demonstrators also protested against the violence which continues despite the peace negotiations with armed groups. “I voted for change, for Petro, but we are still in the same situation. I’m protesting because I think Colombia still has hope and I love my country,” said a 64-year-old retiree, wearing a tricolor hat in Bogota.

In the capital, despite the rain, tens of thousands of demonstrators headed towards Bolivar Square, neighboring the presidential headquarters. In Cali, Medellin, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga and other cities, demonstrators joined the movement with Colombian flags, white T-shirts and a unanimous cry: “Out Petro! »

Health reform project divides the country

One of his reform projects, that of health, divided the country, because Gustavo Petro began to implement several axes on the administrative level despite the difficulties encountered in obtaining the support of Congress.

The president wants to reduce the participation of the private sector in the provision of health services and, in recent days, he has intervened in several entities that serve as intermediaries between the State and hospitals, in order to control their budgets. Experts agree that the health care system is bankrupt and needs to be reformed, but some question how the government intends to do it.

Gustavo Petro came to power in June 2022, becoming the first left-wing man to govern a country traditionally ruled by conservative elites. With a disapproval rate of 60%, according to polling firm Invamer, the president has lost the support of political forces in Congress and in the streets.