Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Veterans' Protest

Hunger-striking veterans on Plaza Santander. 

Heroes or villains?

These police and military veterans are protesting on Plaza Santander across from the Museo de Oro in La Candelaria, demanding pension benefits they claim the government owes them. This same group of men made headlines two weeks ago when they entered the grounds of the presidential palace and were driven off with tear gas.

About two dozen of the veterans are carrying out a hunger strike, altho they only began yesterday.

A veteran receives a pension of between 500,000 and 600,000 pesos per month - less than the minimum wage. They said that the government had promised but never provided a 50% pension pension increase. A veteran can, of course, find another job, but the men told me that the military doesn't provide training that veterans can use for another career.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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