On April 28, 2021 there are nationwide protests in Colombia. We look at the reasons for the national Colombia protests and tips for foreigners to stay safe.

Potentially millions in Colombia are taking to the streets on April 28 in protest over the government’s policies in cities throughout the country.

Many Medellin Guru readers asked about the reasons for these national Colombia protests and if they should stay home on this day. So, we look at some of the reasons for these protests and provide some tips for foreigners to stay safe during these protests in Colombia.

Also, there were national protects in Colombia back in late 2019 and early 2020. Note the above photos are from previous protests in Colombia.

Bogotá student protest in 2018, photo by Colombia Informa

Bogotá student protest in 2018, photo by Colombia Informa

Reasons for the National Colombia Protests on April 28

There’s a is a lot of discontent with the government, but the broadly unpopular tax reform (reforma tributaría) has become the main focus of the protests. The Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT) is the main driving party behind the protests.

Also, there is the opposition in Bogotá to the ruling Centro Democrático party in general and president Iván Duque in particular.

This protest has many sources. Fundamentally, a lot of Colombia (77 percent according to Invamer) thinks Colombia is on the wrong path, but can’t always articulate why.

There really are too many issues. Supporting the peace accords is a big factor for a lot of Colombians, although other Colombians don’t care about this issue. Environmental protection is important for some. And some want Venezuelans to be sent home.

The main goal of stopping the broadly unpopular tax reform (reforma tributaría) is achievable. But keep in mind similar national protests back in 2019 went nowhere and were ignored.

Tips for Foreigners to Stay Safe During Protests

These are expected to be huge nationwide protests in Colombia with hundreds of thousands expected to participate.

The protesters in Colombia have repeatedly said their protests are planned to be peaceful. But with so many protesters and many police and military working to maintain order, it is possible that some of the protests may become violent.

For example, recently in Ecuador and Chile, protests became violent. And in September and October in 2019, student protests in Bogotá turned violent.

Here are five tips for foreigners to stay safe during these protests:

  • Stay away from the protests– these protests are NOT tourist attractions, as some foreigners I talked to recently seem to think. You are taking some risk participating in these protests or going to take photos.
  • Stay at home during the day– if you want to watch the protests, stay at home and watch on the news. The protest marches also disrupt transportation in the big cities in Colombia. So, if you don’t have to go out, simply stay at home and be safe. Also, some businesses in Colombia close during protests.
  • If you go to the protests bring ID and follow police orders– if you decide to go see the protests or participate, keep in mind that Colombian law requires people to carry ID. So, bring your ID or a photocopy. The marches are expected to be huge with a big police presence. Make sure to follow the orders of police that are trying to maintain order. And follow our Colombia safety tips.
  • Wear a face mask and use social distancingwe are in the middle of a pandemic. Wearing a face mask is required and you maintain social distancing. Stay away from crowds.
  • Is it safe to go out at night?– it depends. The protest marches are scheduled during the day and are expected to end by late afternoon. We recommend watching the news to make sure the protests have ended before going out.

Medellin Guru’s Safety and Security Series

Safety is the biggest concern of foreigners visiting Colombia or planning to move to Colombia. So, we have a series of 15 popular articles about safety and security in Colombia:

  1. National Colombia Protests on April 28: Tips to Stay Safe
  2. Is Colombia Safe? Colombia Security and Safety Tips
  3. Is Medellín Safe? Medellín Security and Safety Tips
  4. What are the Safest Neighborhoods in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
  5. Medellín Robbery: Expat Experience Being Robbed at Knifepoint
  6. Colombia Gun Laws: Is it Legal to Have a Gun in Colombia?
  7. Scopolamine: The Realities of Devil’s Breath in Colombia
  8. Colombia Protests: Tips for Foreigners to Stay Safe During Protests
  9. Is Bogotá Safe? Bogotá Security and Safety Tips
  10. Is Cartagena Safe? Cartagena Security and Safety Tips
  11. Is Cali Safe? Cali, Colombia Security and Safety Tips
  12. Is Santa Marta Safe? Santa Marta Security and Safety Tips
  13. Is Pereira Safe? Pereira, Colombia Security and Safety Tips
  14. Is Manizales Safe? Manizales Security and Safety Tips
  15. Is Bucaramanga Safe? Bucaramanga Security and Safety Tips
  16. Is Barranquilla Safe? Barranquilla Security and Safety Tips
Educator protest in Bogotá in 2017, photo by Baiji

Educator protest in Bogotá in 2017, photo by Baiji

The Bottom Line: National Colombia Protests on April 28 – Tips to Stay Safe

The national Colombia protests on April 28 are expected to large with possibly hundreds of thousands participating in Colombia. This nationwide protest in Colombia has multiple reasons with many participants, which essentially makes this a major protest against the Colombian government.

You can easily stay safe from these protests by simply staying home during days of protests. Plus, you will avoid the disruptions of transportation that are expected in the biggest cities in Colombia.

The bottom line, if you don’t have to go out on the days of protests, stay safe and stay home. And if you do go out take extra precautions and try to stay away from the protest marches.

Protests are fairly common in Colombia and in other countries in Latin America. There have been many protests in Colombia and Medellín in my over 8 years living in Medellín. And I have never encountered a problem but I stay away from these protests.

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