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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Crisis in Colombia: 23-year-old protester dead - 4 police injured in Cali

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New clashes between police and protesters broke out in Cali, southwestern Colombia, resulting in one death between protesters and four police officers injured, authorities said Friday.

The incidents erupted on Thursday night, when police tried to disperse protesters with masked faces who had set up a roadblock on a road that allows access to the third largest city in Latin America.

The police officers became a "fire with firearms" and one of them "was hit by a globe, while" another three colleagues were injured, "he said in a press release published by the Police Deputy Governor in Kali, the police officer Guiership Amaaa.

Juan David Munios, 23, was killed while at the roadblock, a spokesman for the city's security secretariat told AFP, without elaborating on the cause of death.

Riots broke out in the Paso del Comercio area, where protesters have blocked roads frequently since April 28, when an unprecedented social unrest movement broke out in the Andean state.

On Tuesday, the National Strike Committee, a group of many organizations participating in the mobilizations, but not all, announced that it had decided to suspend the demonstrations until July 20th. He had already announced that he had suspended the - fruitless - negotiations with the government of President Ivan Duque.

Groups of protesters, however, continue to mobilize and set up roadblocks on roads located in various neighborhoods in Cali and the capital Bogota.

On Thursday, the European Union special envoy, Eamon Gilmore, expressed his "concern" to the right-wing head of state for the heavy toll of the victims of the mass mobilizations.

At least 62 people, including two police officers, have been killed in the nearly XNUMX days since the crackdown, according to authorities and the ombudsman, an independent public human rights body.

Mr Duque's government has condemned the roadblocks and ordered the "maximum deployment" of security forces to be lifted.

Cali Mayor Jorge Ivan Ospina said in an interview with Colombian radio station W that "criminal drug trafficking organizations" have infiltrated the ranks of protesters in his city.

The controversy in Colombia, sparked by protests against a tax bill that quickly slipped into the drawer, turned into a denunciation of government policy, with protesters calling for more solidarity policies to address the growing economic impact of the new crisis. 42% of the approximately 50 million Colombians in poverty.

Source: RES-EAP

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