A young man died in Bogotá amid clashes between civilians and the police during a new day of protests against the government of Colombia, reported authorities this Wednesday.
With this case, there are already two dead in two days of bloody demonstrations in the capital, one of the main sources of popular anger that has taken to the streets since April 28 in rejection of the president Ivan Duque’s policies.
According to General Óscar Gómez, on Tuesday night the protesters “violently” took over a mass transit station in the northwest of the city and the riot police intervened.
The young man had “a head injury apparently with a blunt element, he was transferred to the hospital in Suba (neighborhood) and apparently died on the way”, Gomez told Blu Radio.
In a video that was broadcast live through social networks, tough clashes are observed. The person recording shows the camera a bloody object that he picks up from the ground and places in a bag. The protesters say it was tear gas fired by the riot squad.
During the protests on Monday, a 32-year-old man was also killed in the south of Bogotá, apparently by an object thrown at close range that injured his chest.
According to civil authorities and the Ombudsman, at least 63 people have died in more than two months of demonstrations. Two of the victims were in uniform.
“Another deceased young man hurts my soul”, the mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, wrote on Twitter. “The police must comply with the constitution. Young people cannot continue to be victims of police abuse and cannon fodder for political radicalism,” he added.
The UN, the United States and several international NGOs have denounced the disproportionate use of force by soldiers in the protests.
Human Rights Watch claims to have “credible evidence” that “the police killed at least 16 protesters or bystanders with lethal ammunition” and another three “due to improper or excessive use of tear gas or stun guns”.
What began with a protest against a frustrated tax hike at the height of the pandemic turned into a popular movement demanding a reform of the police and a more supportive state to deal with the economic ravages of the virus, which raised poverty in 37 % to 42% of the population.
Although the most visible front of the mobilizations suspended the protests until July 20, other dissatisfied sectors maintain active marches, concentrations and blockades.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.