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The Government of Colombia figures at 20,000 the number of protesters across the country

January 22, 2020
Manifestantes en Bogotá en las marchas contra la violencia y los asesinatos de líderes sociales y contra las medidas económicas del presidente Iván Duque.

Protesters in Bogotá in the marches against violence and the murders of social leaders and against the economic measures of President Iván Duque. – Camila Díaz / colprensa / dpa

The Minister of the Interior of Colombia, Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez, and the Police Director, Óscar Atehortúa, have reported that the mobilization and protest day on Tuesday in Colombia has been seconded by some 20,000 people across the country, gathered in at least 120 concentrations and 40 marches around 101 municipalities and cities in 30 departments, in which clashes have occurred with law enforcement, causing 10 injured agents and eight detained people.

Atehortúa explained that the Mobile Riot Squadron (ESMAD) has intervened on up to 25 occasions “to preserve the private infrastructure of the State.” In that sense, the director of the Police has also detailed a series of acts of vandalism that have affected means of transport and public and private establishments in cities such as Medellín or Bogotá.

The Government of Colombia figures at 20,000 the number of protesters across the countryThe Government of Colombia figures at 20,000 the number of protesters across the country

The mobilizations against the neoliberal court policies of the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, have resumed this Tuesday in various parts of the country, where several sectors of the civilian population have shown their rejection of the Government's economic measures, of impunity towards the murders of social leaders and the abuses of the Army in relation to the recent scandal of illegal eavesdropping, as well as in favor of public education.

Before the intervention of the Government and the Police, the new mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, wanted to thank the citizens who had demonstrated peacefully and stressed that during “this social protest there was no militarization, nor dead.”

“We received a city in which social mobilization was being stigmatized, with curfews and deaths such as Dilan Cruz. Today we have none of that thanks to the peaceful citizen majorities and compliance with the Mayor's Protocol,” said López .

During the day of protests in the capital, where in the words of the mayor “the city did not see ESMAD assaulting civilians,” the police have confronted a group of protesters near the Bogota town of Suba. The balance has been of five injured agents and two detained people.

Protesters have also taken to the streets to protest against the current situation in places like Cali, Barranquilla or Medellín, where there have been clashes with the Police that have resulted in at least three people arrested and several injured.

In Barranquilla, the 2018 presidential candidate Gustavo Petro has joined the protesters and has asked President Duque to maintain an “open dialogue” with Colombians.

This new day of protests and demonstrations takes up the claims that during the last two months of 2019 made thousands of Colombians take to the streets to support a general strike called by the unions that brought together broad and diverse sectors of Colombian civil society, such as retirees, teachers and students, LGTBI groups and indigenous communities.

The deterioration of pensions and salaries, the breach of agreements with students and the perennial situation of violence in the country, as well as the Government's attempt to modify the peace agreement with the FARC in 2016, were the main points of those mobilizations.

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