At the present time Colombia is undergoing a period of social unrest, Health Workers, Coffee Farmers, Truckers, University Teachers, Rice Growers, Sugar Cane Cutters, Peasants and Miners are currently involved in the largest Public Demonstration since 2008, and instead of talking to those involved, the Government has set the Riot Police on them. This has inflamed the situation, and probably put the final nail in President Santos\’ coffin with regard to any chance of re-election, the arguement being that he is prepared to talk to Terrorists (FARC), but not to law abiding people.
We now have a situation where roads have been blocked and barricaded, Protestors are battling with the Police, food is not getting to parts of the country, as a result prices are going up, and unless there are changes soon, there will be shortages, workers in the Petroleum Industry are also in dispute, so petrol will be in short supply, the Government have failed to implement promises regarding education, so they have also joined the fray.
Today, I have also found out about another tax, and I have not been paying it, Semaforización (Traffic Light = Semaforo) or as I will refer to it, a Thieves Charter, is a payment that we are told is not a tax, but a contribution towards paying for the upkeep of all Traffic Lights, you can either pay it annually, or when you sell the car (plus interest), since I was not aware of this, I haven\’t paid it so far, and since I am selling, hopefully before the end of the year, I will wait and pay then. It is only £12 pa, but that is not the point, we already pay a number of taxes on vehicles, this is just one more to add to the pile, and it doesn\’t do much to improve the Traffic Light system anyway, you do wonder what they use the money for, they rake in from all the cameras placed on Traffic Lights! Also because of the number of financial \’penalties\’ associated with owning a vehicle, you can understand why so many people, take the risk, and don\’t register vehicles.