Bloody protests in Columbia leads to death of at least 19 people

At least 19 people have been killed and more than 800 injured in violence of protests in Columbia over the past five days in protest of a government tax reform bill.

Hundreds of Colombians take to the streets despite Colombia’s culmination of the third wave of the Corona epidemic, following the daily increase in taxes on consumer goods resulting from the Colombian government’s “tax reform” policies Have come and staged the largest anti-government protests in Columbia.

According to figures provided by the Defender of the Nation, 18 civilians and a policeman were killed during the protests, which began on April 28. Colombia’s Ministry of Defense said 864 people were injured, including 306 civilians, during the protests.

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Unions and other groups have been protesting for the past five days, urging Ivan Duko’s government to repeal the bill. The bill basically balances the sales tax on public services and some food.

Cali, Colombia’s third-largest city, has witnessed some of the loudest marches, looting, and arson of several city buses. So far, a number of banks and government buildings in the country have been attacked by protesters.

Local media estimated the damage to government buildings and other assets at least $ 21.5 million; However, every hour, the number of tension increases.

The Human Rights Watch legal organization said

He has received reports of possible police harassment in Kali. It also has border tensions with its neighbour Venezuela. Venezuela’s defence minister recently announced clashes between Venezuelan armed forces and Colombian militants in the western state of Aporia.

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Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino did not mention the number of casualties in the conflict. Previous clashes in the region in late March forced thousands of Venezuelan civilians to flee Colombia.

In early April, Padrino announced the arrest of 33 people, including eight killed and 34 wounded by Venezuelan forces.

Cities at high risk of violence will continue to receive military assistance that guarantees human rights. Doku announced late Friday that the amendment bill would not now include a sales tax on food or utilities or an increase in income tax.

Colombia’s central bank warned last Friday that failure to pass a tax reform plan would have a negative impact on the country’s economy.

The Colombian government insists the reform is critical to stabilizing Colombia’s finances, maintaining its credit rating, and financing social programs. The protests were first formed to express opposition to the tax reform law. Although the law has been repealed, protesters are now widely calling for government action against poverty. A number of demonstrators and pro-protest groups have also stated that they oppose and protest against the use of excessive force by police.

The Colombian National Police have said they will investigate more than 20 allegations of police violence.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Defense has claimed that armed groups have infiltrated the protests in order to turn the tide into violence.

According to the tax reform plan, which was protested by the people, sales tax and income tax were to be increased. The Colombian government has now scrapped the plan.

Colombian Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla has also resigned. Colombian President Ivan Duque has previously suggested that military forces be used to protect infrastructure and ensure people have access to essential services. Meanwhile, the mayors of many cities, including Bogota and Medellin, have stated that the use of military force is not necessary.

In the wake of further protests in Columbia, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called for calm in the country and warned against firing on police.

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