Pattaya One News
Home » More killed in Colombia protests as president sends in military
International News News Asia

More killed in Colombia protests as president sends in military

Colombian President Ivan Duque has said the military will be sent to restore order in the city of Cali after weeks of violent anti-government protests.

Four people died in the country’s third-largest city on Friday night, the latest in a month of nationwide demonstrations which have claimed dozens of lives.

They began in April over a proposed tax increase which was later withdrawn, and later transformed into a general outcry against growing poverty, inequality and police violence.

In Cali, which has become an epicentre of the protests, the mayor, Jorge Ospina, confirmed three of the deaths, while local media reported the fourth occurred on the road between Cali and the town of Candelaria.

CALI, COLOMBIA - MAY 28: Protesters shout slogans against the government as they passed in front of the Santiago de Cali University during a protest against Ivan Duque's administration on May 28, 2021 in Cali, Colombia. Protests against Ivan Duque's administration have not stopped since erupting on April 28 against a tax reform bill which was later withdrawn. Demands turned their focus into a widespread expression of anger over poverty, inequality, pandemic mismanagement and police brutality. National government and the strike committee continue to negotiate to find a solution to the crisis. (Photo by Gabriel Aponte/Getty Images)
Protesters shout slogans against the government as they pass in front of the Santiago de Cali University (Picture: Gabriel Aponte/Getty Images)
A man carries an injured demonstrator during clashes with riot police during a protest against the government in Medellin, Colombia, on May 28, 2021. - Three people died on May 28 during anti-government protests in the Colombian city of Cali, authorities said, as the country marked a full month of social unrest that has claimed dozens of lives. (Photo by JOAQUIN SARMIENTO / AFP) (Photo by JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP via Getty Images)
A man carries an injured demonstrator during clashes with riot police (Picture: AFP)
Members of the ‘first line’ protesters embrace in Bogota (Picture: Guillermo Legaria/Getty Images)

Speaking to reporters in Cali, Mr Duque said he was sending the ‘maximum deployment of military assistance’ to the police.

He said: ‘This deployment will almost triple our capacity throughout the province in less than 24 hours, ensuring assistance in nerve centres where we have seen acts of vandalism, violence and low-intensity urban terrorism.’

Demonstrations elsewhere were mostly peaceful, although clashes between police and protesters were reported in some areas, such as the municipality of Madrid, near Bogotá.

Demonstrators clash with police as protests demanding government action to tackle poverty, police violence and inequalities in healthcare and education systems continue, in Madrid, Colombia May 28, 2021. REUTERS/Santiago Mesa NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Demonstrators clash with police in Madrid, Colombia (Picture: Reuters)
A demonstrator wearing a gas mask and holding a makeshift sheild reacts during clashes with riot police during a protest against the government in Madrid, Colombia, on May 28, 2021. - Three people died ON mAY 28 during anti-government protests in the Colombian city of Cali, authorities said, as the country marked a full month of social unrest that has claimed dozens of lives. (Photo by Juan Pablo Pino / AFP) (Photo by JUAN PABLO PINO/AFP via Getty Images)
A demonstrator wearing a gas mask and holding a makeshift shield during a protest in Madrid (Picture: Juan Pablo Pino/AFP)
Demonstrators take cover from a riot police water cannon behind a makeshift shield during clashes in a new protest against the government in Medellin, Colombia, on May 28, 2021. - Three people died Friday during anti-government protests in the Colombian city of Cali, authorities said, as the country marked a full month of social unrest that has claimed dozens of lives. (Photo by JOAQUIN SARMIENTO / AFP) (Photo by JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP via Getty Images)
Demonstrators take cover from a riot police water cannon behind a makeshift shield (Picture: Joaquin Sarimento/AFP via Getty)

Despite the government and protest leaders reaching a ‘pre-agreement’ for ending demonstrations this week, strike organisers said the government had not signed the deal and accused it of stalling.

Francisco Maltes, president of the Central Union of Workers (CUT), accused the government of delaying talks.

He said: ‘We have already reached the agreement, the only thing missing is the president’s signature to start the negotiations.’

The government said it had not signed the deal because some protest leaders would not condemn road blocks, calling the issue non-negotiable, adding that talks will resume on Sunday.

Colombia’s finance ministry estimates protests and roadblocks have cost the country £1.9 billion, with the roadblocks leading to shortages of food and other supplies, boosting prices, and disrupting operations in the country’s main seaport as well as for hundreds of companies.

metr

error: If you would like to use this content, please contact us [email protected]