Lucas Villa, the protester who was shot eight times in a peaceful protest last Wednesday in the colombian city Pereira, died today after spending six days in critical condition and becoming a symbol of one of the worst social crises in the country that leaves at least 27 people dead.

Villa, 37, died at the San Jorge University Hospital, in that city in the west of the country, and the attack he suffered represents one of the worst attacks on the peaceful protesters of the mobilizations that began on April 28 against the Government of the President Iván Duque.

“We accompany the Villa family with deep sadness after the news of Lucas’ death,” Duque said today through his Twitter account when confirming the death of the protester, who yesterday was diagnosed with brain death.

Villa was a university student of Sports Sciences and participated actively in the protests in recent days, peacefully chanting slogans, dancing and motivating the rest of his classmates to reject the tax reform, first, and police brutality and other policies once it was withdrawn by the government.

The young man was, along with other protesters, protesting peacefully on the viaduct that connects Pereira, capital of the department of Risaralda, with neighboring Dosquebradas, when people dressed in civilian clothes on a motorcycle opened fire seriously wounding two people.

Villa and Andrés Clavijo, who woke up this weekend in the hospital, and one more on his leg.

“I repeat what I talked to Mauricio, his father, that this is the opportunity to unite and express our rejection of violence. To those responsible, the full weight of the law,” added Duque.


The name of Villa was raised by thousands of Colombians who kept the hope that he would recover and who through art asked for justice so that attacks such as those he suffered are not repeated in the country.

In some videos recorded before the attack, Lucas is seen dancing in the streets, greeting police officers and shouting messages such as “they are killing us.”

In various parts of the country there have been multiple reports of intimidation of protesters by armed men allegedly opposed to vandalism and in some cases they have even been attacked with shots from high-end vehicles, as happened with Villa.

President Iván Duque condemned the attack on Villa a few days ago and asked the police authorities to clarify the circumstances of the attack and capture those responsible.

Last Saturday, the National Police offered 100 million pesos (almost $27,000) in reward for “information on the criminals who attempted against the life of young Lucas Villa.”

The director of the Police, Major General Jorge Luis Vargas, described Villa as a “symbol of the peaceful demonstration in Colombia” and assured that “the best units of the elite corps were sent to Pereira to clarify this painful fact.”

Since the protests began, at least 27 people have died during the protest days, as reported on Friday by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Office of the Ombudsman of the country in a document, in which it clarifies that, of those deaths, 11 are directly linked to the events, seven are “in verification” and there are nine that have no relation to the protests.

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