Chamber of commerce collects aid for Colombians facing shortages due to protesters’ roadblocks

MIAMI – Tax reform protests in Colombia entered week three as a group of labor leaders, student activists, and indigenous community leaders continue to negotiate with President Iván Duque’s administration.

The reports of police brutality continued. The associated death toll increased to 42. Protesters’ roadblocks have prompted supply chain disruptions.

A protester stands at a roadblock set up during anti-government protests in Cali, Colombia, Monday, May 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Andres Gonzalez) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Having heard of the crisis, members of the U.S. Minority Chamber of Commerce are collecting aid to send to Cali, the city with the most violent outbreaks during the protests.

“While we normally deal with trade issues, today we are here to help with the humanitarian issue,” said Doug Mayorga, the chief executive officer of the nonprofit organization.

Indigenous demonstrators attend an anti-government march in Cali, Colombia, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Andres Gonzalez) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Ignacio Pena, the nonprofit organization’s vice president of humanitarian affairs, said there is a desperate need for nonperishable food, hygiene items, and personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals.

Mayorga and Pena, who are both based out of Miami’s Brickell area, said they are ready to ship 10,000 boxes full of donations by the end of the month.

How to help

Donations can be mailed to 1111 Brickell Ave., Miami, FL, 33131. For more information about the campaign, call 786-406-2190.

A music group plays drums during an anti-government march in Bogota, Colombia, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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About the Authors:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.