The protests in Colombia were kept alive this Wednesday shouting “no more violence”, since the demonstrations that have lasted for eight days leave at least 11 confirmed dead, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, although social organizations raise that figure to 31 people.
The Ombudsman’s Office reported today at least 24 homicides during the protests, but the Prosecutor’s Office later pointed out that after using “all judicial clarification mechanisms”, it determined that “11 violent deaths occur on the occasion of these demonstrations, seven are in verification and six homicides have no link ”.
The second day of the “national strike” was marked by the candles, the cacerolazos and the peaceful sit-ins in which the protesters raised a prayer in memory of the fatalities and in rejection of the excesses of the Mobile Anti-riot Squad (Esmad) of the Police.
However, there were also riots in cities like Bogotá, where vandals knocked down the Capitol fences and threw stones at the police who were there and who dispersed the protest with gases; in the Caribbean Santa Marta, where there was looting and excesses, and in Medellín, where there were clashes and even a station of the Metroplús bus system was set on fire.
However, the most delicate situation occurred in Pereira, capital of the department of Risaralda, in the Eje Cafetero, where three young people were seriously injured by shots from unknown persons on the César Gaviria Viaduct, which connects that city with neighboring Dosquebradas, when they were participating in a demonstration.
THE KIND FACE OF PROTESTS
Musicians, actors and acrobats today showed a friendly face of the protests with various artistic and cultural expressions to call for dialogue, propose a reflection and ask for changes in the economic and social policy of the Government.
The focus of these colorful demonstrations was in Medellín, in the northwest of the country, where the eighth day of demonstrations was opened by a concert in the Parque de los Deseos, which was spontaneously joined by local artists, who played melodies in support to the national strike and to life.
“Art is a powerful tool to protest, a transforming element,” Juan Ernesto Arias, organizer of the artistic interventions, told EFE that they called for “stop the abuses” by the authorities.
The most striking moment was starred by an acrobat wrapped in the Colombian flag with a “slackline” number, or tightrope, who moved with ease while hundreds of compatriots enjoyed his intervention and gave harangues.
DIALOGUES WITHOUT DEMONSTRATORS
Meanwhile, President Iván Duque began his “Meeting to advance an agenda on the fundamentals” on Wednesday, a dialogue with him that seeks to solve the problem that Colombia is experiencing but to which he did not invite leaders of the protesters or of the the opposition.
“President Iván Duque is credited with his willingness to dialogue, but frankly I do not understand why he does not meet from today to seek agreements with the Unemployment Committee, which expects serious dialogue from 2019,” said Juan Fernando Cristo, who was a minister of the Interior during the Government of Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018).
Today, representatives of universities, student organizations, community leaders, governors and mayors participated, according to the Government, whose spokesperson is the High Commissioner for Peace, Miguel Ceballos.
Precisely the high official assured that the leaders of the National Committee of the Unemployment will participate in the talks on May 10, when 13 days would have passed since the start of the demonstrations.
“The political solution, and according to this crisis that has been going on for more than eight days, is held by the National Government in its hands. I appreciate the call for dialogue, but I would like to make a call for good sense: with whom we must dialogue is with those who are on the street, who are young, ”said Claudia López, mayor of Bogotá, one of the cities most affected by the violence.
IMPUTED POLICE AND SEARCH FOR THE DISAPPEARED
On the other hand, the attorney general of Colombia, Francisco Barbosa, assured today that the body he leads will charge policemen for the killings of three civilians during the demonstrations.
“Three of these homicides will be attributed to members of the National Police in the framework of these demonstrations,” said the attorney general of Colombia, Francisco Barbosa, in a joint statement with the ombudsman, Carlos Camargo.
Meanwhile, the Ombudsman’s Office pointed out that 89 people have been reported as missing since the demonstrations began, but the prosecutor Barbosa assured that 38 of them “have already been located.”
“We have 51 people pending to locate in the next few days,” said the official.
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.