At least 13 people died on Friday in the city of Cali, where the army was deployed after the most violent day left so far by the social protest against the government in Colombia, according to an updated balance of civil authorities.
“The prosecution reports 13 homicides to us yesterday,” said the mayor of Cali (southwest) Jorge Iván Ospina at a press conference.
Earlier, it was reported that the day that commemorated a month of national strike in Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca, left a violent death toll of ten. This was confirmed by Carlos Alberto Rojas, the city’s security secretary, for Caracol Radio.
“Yesterday we had ten deaths in the city of Cali and many in the specific context of yesterday’s activities. In the south of the city, we had a real scene of confrontation and almost an urban war. Many people lost their lives and we had a significant number of injuries”, indicated the official for the radio station.
In addition, he condemned civilians with firearms such as pistols and rifles. Faced with this, he asked for identification and prosecution.
“It is unacceptable that we have civilians turning our city into a war field. It seems to us that what has happened has to be quickly investigated by all the authorities. These people must be identified and prosecuted”, he asserted.
According to Rojas, in the La Luna sector, south of the city, there have been three reported deaths so far. “In other parts of the city we also had events related to the dynamics of the protest and the blockades”, he said, assuring that the condition of other people is being determined.
In terms of injuries, according to the official, 23 injured people were counted last night who entered the health system. However, Rojas assured that it is expected to report more injured. During the entire month of protest, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, 12 to 15 people have died and more than 550 have been injured.
According to a report from the Cali authorities, shared by journalist Miguel Palta, eight of the victims were killed with firearms. One of the reports appears with a sharp weapon and, one of them, in the La Luna sector, is categorized as perpetrated with “Other weapons”. All the victims were men and the youngest was 22 years old.
Among the reported neighborhoods are Marroquín II, Junín, Saavedra Galindo, Urbanización La Base, Santa Helena, Omar Torrijos, Prados del Sur and Alfonso Bonilla Aragón.
In Junín, which is part of the report in La Luna, an official from the Attorney General’s Office was involved. This is the CTI agent identified as Fredy Bermúdez Ortiz, who apparently he tried to cross that point and in the middle of a confrontation drew a firearm and shot several of the protesters that were in that place. Two of them lost their lives.
Amid the chaos, the officer who shot ran off and was chased by the same protesters who managed to arrest and lynch him.
The prosecutor Francisco Barbosa confirmed the facts in a statement to the media hours later. “It was an official attached to the technical investigation body who, according to the information gathered up to this moment, shot several people causing the death of some civilians. It should be noted that this official entered the institution in 2014 and that at the time of the events he was not in compliance with any work proper to his function because he was on rest”, reported the Attorney General.
Likewise, he explained that Bermúdez, on the occasion of what happened, “He ended up dead at the hands of people who were in the crime scene. The Attorney General’s Office rejects all acts of violence that threaten the lives of our citizens regardless of their condition, these actions violate the rule of law, the Constitution and international human rights treaties”.
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