Colombia protests stretch into seventh day as UN condemns police violence

The United Nations human rights office mentioned it was “deeply alarmed” over violence towards protesters within the Colombian metropolis of Cali, where “police opened fire on demonstrators” and allegedly killed and injured a number of people Monday night time.

The assertion from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights comes as anti-government protests sparked by a proposed tax enhance enter their seventh day and present few indicators of stopping.

According to Colombia’s Human Rights Ombudsman, 16 protesters and one policeman have been killed within the demonstrations since final Wednesday. But that determine does not embody experiences of deaths in Cali on Monday, which the UN mentioned it’s nonetheless attempting to substantiate.

Here’s a have a look at what’s taking place.

Anger over tax plan

The protests started after Colombia’s government proposed a tax plan aimed toward elevating $6.7 billion US to pay the nation’s money owed and keep a primary earnings scheme for 3 million low-income people that began throughout the pandemic.

Protesters marched in a nationwide strike towards the government proposal on Wednesday. In Bogota, they held balloons and indicators that learn “no to tax reform” in Spanish.

(Fernando Vergara/The Associated Press)

In Medellin, some demonstrators carried out acrobatics as they protested the tax reform invoice.

(Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Images)

Some protests noticed clashes erupt between police and demonstrators, in addition to property harm. A public transportation bus was left in flames throughout a protest in Cali.

(Paola Mafla/AFP/Getty Images)

President withdraws plan

Wednesday was only the start. On May Day, or International Workers’ Day, on Saturday, people shouted slogans throughout an indication towards the tax reform in Bogota.

(Fernando Vergara/The Associated Press)

Police stood guard towards protesters on the entrance of President Ivan Duque’s house. 

(Fernando Vergara/The Associated Press)

Amid the protests, Duque withdrew the tax plan on Sunday. He has mentioned his government will draw up one other proposal — the results of consultations with lawmakers, civil society and companies.

People on bikes celebrated at Bolivar sq. in Bogota after the proposal was withdrawn.

(Fernando Vergara/The Associated Press)

Duque’s finance minister additionally resigned the next day. But giant demonstrations and roadblocks have continued.

Police actions criticized

Numerous movies have emerged on social media displaying police utilizing extreme power throughout the protests and even taking pictures at some demonstrators level clean.

On Monday, people attended a vigil in Cali in honour of Nicolas Guerrero, who died after being shot on Sunday throughout a protest towards the tax reform.

(Andres Gonzalez/The Associated Press)

In its assertion, the UN urged Colombia’s government to guard the rights of protesters.

“Law enforcement officers should abide by the principles of legality, precaution and necessity of proportionality,” the assertion mentioned.

The protests have continued into Tuesday and unfold to other nations. In Argentina, demonstrators rallied outdoors the Colombian consulate in Buenos Aires to sentence police actions throughout the protests. They held indicators with messages corresponding to: “In Colombia they are killing us.”

(Agustin Marcarian/Reuters)

Back in Colombia, the safety presence stays robust. Soldiers and military tanks had been seen guarding toll cubicles to maintain protesters from damaging them on the outskirts of Bogota on Tuesday.

(Fernando Vergara/The Associated Press)

In a video Tuesday, Duque mentioned the government is prepared for nationwide dialogue. Mass marches and a nationwide strike are deliberate for Wednesday.

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