Colombian lawmakers approve controversial tax reform

Colombia's Congress gave thegreen light on Wednesday to a controversial bill that aims tostreamline the country's complicated tax system but at the costof reducing government tax receipts going forward.

Adjustments to President Juan Manuel Santos' tax proposalwere seen as a bitter pill for his administration, which hadwanted a reform that was revenue neutral for Latin America'sfourth-largest economy.

To get the tax reforms passed, Santos' government was forcedto call extra sessions of Congress and the president interruptedregular television programming twice in the last month toexplain the reform to Colombians.