Colombia closed a month of protests with a new day when citizens took to the streets to call for action to combat inequality in the country in various marches caused by riots, violence and clashes between protesters and public violence tarnished left at least four dead.
The National Strike Committee this Friday, on the occasion of the month of the National Strike, called for mobilizations in the main cities of the country, while the dialogue with the executive of Iván Duque seems to be stagnating.
The town of Cali, in the Valle del Cauca department, has been one of the main points of peaceful concentration across the country, although there have been serious situations of violence with clashes between participants in the marches and public violence, as well as acts of vandalism, reports the Colombian media “El Tiempo”.
According to the department authorities, at least four people died during the marches this Friday in the Valle del Cauca. Three of them lost their lives in a confrontation in the La Luna sector of Cali earlier in the day, confirmed Mayor Jorge Iván Ospina.
In this context, the prosecutor Francisco Barbosa reported that the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) officer Fredy Bermúdez, who was killed in the incident, “shot several people, causing the deaths of some civilians”.
“The term died by people who were in the realm of the facts,” said the prosecutor, who stated that the officer was not in office that Friday.
According to ‘El Espectador’, the situation came after a discussion about the blockades when a civilian clad people, Bermúdez, shot and killed the demonstrators, whereupon he was attacked by citizens who were in the same place.
Due to the situation in Cali and in the Valle del Cauca, a curfew has been imposed from Friday to Saturday morning at night and Duque has announced the use of maximum military aid in the region.
On the other hand, Bogotá has also called together thousands of citizens who have gathered at the Monument to the Heroes and the Portal Las Américas, the main mobilization points of the Colombian capital.
Apart from various proclamations for social equality in the country, after a month of mobilization reported by police violence from various organizations, the participants have demanded respect for their lives from the authorities and asked for answers to those who disappeared in those days 123 today, according to the Ombudsman.
Music also played a major role on the day of the protests in Bogotá National Park, although several blockades and the takeover of a Transmilenio bus by protesters were reported in the city, as well as riots in the community of Madrid near the city.
Medellín or Barranquilla have also organized large marches, most of which are quiet and where mobility problems have been reported. However, in the capital of Cauca, Popayán, attempts were made to burn down the building that houses the mayor’s office.
While the marches were developing, a protester threw a “Molotov cocktail” at the building, which caused a fire, reports “El Tiempo”.
The Duque government has asked the Unemployment Committee to condemn the deadlocks in the agreement, which would lead to the setting up of a negotiating table to address and put an end to the problems of the protests.
In this context, the leaders of the marches have pointed out that the blockades “are part of the legitimate means of protest”. “From the beginning we have declared and promoted the creation of humanitarian supply corridors with free movement of goods and services for basic food, health and public health,” said El Tiempo.
Thus, given a meeting of the negotiating teams scheduled for Sunday, the executive’s condition for the signing of the agreements has not been met.
The Ombudsman’s office this Friday struck a new balance between the victims of the strike, encrypting 123 missing people while identifying 383 human rights violations.
According to the NGO Temblores, this month of protests killed 43 people in murders allegedly committed by public violence, while 1,445 protesters were arrested and 22 victims of sexual violence were reported.