The United Nations has denounced gunshots and attacks by police against members of one of its human rights teams in the context of the violent incidents recorded during the protests in the Colombian city of Cali on Monday.
“While we were observing the human rights situation in Cali, there were no direct shots at the UN human rights team,” said the representative of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia, Juliette de Rivero.
“However, other members of the commission received threats and attacks as well as shots from the police without anyone being hit,” said De Rivero through a series of messages published on his account on the social network Twitter.
As a result, he has called for these events to be “investigated” and those responsible “punished” before expressing “concern” about the information about “an unconfirmed number of people killed and injured in Cali”.
“We demand respect for the lives of all people, this is the only way to strengthen democracy and the rule of law,” said De Rivero in response to the incidents that broke out after the security forces loaded and fired tear gas against a protest as part of the government’s ” national strikes ”against tax reform.
According to the Colombian newspaper “El Espectador”, some of those present denounced the violence of the police intervention. A hotel was set on fire during the incidents while a group of police officers were staying at the hotel.
Faced with this situation, the Mayor of Cali, Jorge Iván Ospina, has called an extraordinary meeting to address the situation. “To all secretaries, undersecretaries, managers, councilors, congressmen. To our governor. I am calling on you to a meeting and a government council in our mayor’s office,” he said on Twitter.
Protests against tax reform, already withdrawn by President Iván Duque, have also led to the resignation of Colombian Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla, who argued on Monday that his continuity in government “would hinder the rapid and efficient building of the necessary consensus”.
The latest balance offered by the Colombian Ombudsman’s office shows that 19 civilians have died since Thursday last week as part of the protests in Colombia, for which it is requesting an investigation to determine the causes and circumstances of the deaths.