Over the last three days in Colombia, banks and government buildings have been attacked, dozens of people arrested, and at least 200 policemen injured during riots as protestors vent their anger over the government’s proposed tax reform. All this as the country battles a third wave of COVID infections.
Five police officers have suffered burns after being hit by a Molotov cocktail during a Thursday night protest in the department of Nariño in the south of the country, with videos showing the chaos.
Imágenes que causan indignación. No más permisividad con este tipo de agresiones contra nuestra @PoliciaColombia En #Pasto cinco uniformados resultaron gravemente heridos tras ataque de criminales que vandalizaban la ciudad. @mindefensa @DirectorPolicia pic.twitter.com/prl9mnIjuM— María del Rosario Guerra (@charoguerra) April 30, 2021
According to Reuters, one person died during Thursday's demonstration, while El Espectador reported – citing data from a human rights group – that at least 14 protesters have died during clashes with police over the last three days.
Según la Red de Derechos Humanos Francisco Isaias Cifuentes de Cali hay por lo menos 14 personas muertas. Agregaron también que una mujer habría sido abusada sexualmente por parte del ESMAD. https://t.co/bIzJul4uaj pic.twitter.com/oWoy85mGzE— elespectador (@elespectador) May 1, 2021
URGENT: At least 8 people have been killed so far by security forces in Colombia, as the Ivan Duque narco-regime continues to crack down on peaceful protests against a proposed tax reform. #ColombiaResiste #Colombia #ParoNacional https://t.co/r5gKmfQsYL— Ecuador On Q (@Ecuador_On_Q) May 1, 2021
The worst riots reportedly took place in Cali city on Wednesday and Thursday night, with buildings vandalised and businesses looted, leading to some $21.5 million in damages and losses, according to Mayor Jorge Ivan Ospina.
AHORA: Fuerzas de seguridad abren fuego contra manifestantes en Cali, Colombia luego de que se haya ido la luminaria eléctrica de las calles. pic.twitter.com/Md8qF1kiYd— Mundo en Conflicto 🌎 (@MundoEConflicto) May 1, 2021
¡HIJUEPUTA, a quema ropa!— La Paz, Dijo Colombianito.🕊 🇨🇴 🐝 (@LaPazColombiani) April 30, 2021
Miren lo que hace el ESMAD ASESINO en Cali. #ACAB #SOSCali 💥🤬🇨🇴✊🏼#SOSColombia #ParoNacional30A #Paro30A #UribeDioLaOrden #PuertoResistencia #TwitterSuspendaleLaCuentaAUribe #UribeEsUnNarcoAsesino #CaliResiste #MalditoUribismo #DuqueDictador #Matarife pic.twitter.com/T7cXlX65bT
Officials tried to discourage the marches, which began on Wednesday, by imposing curfews, while the police have used tear gas to break up crowds, but situation is now out of control in many cities across the country.
We are on the ground in Bogotá, Colombia, where thousands have taken to the streets to oppose the neoliberal 'Reforma Tributaria' of Pres. Duque and the targeted assassinations of scores of Indigenous, social movement, union, and peasant leaders. pic.twitter.com/9LZRH9y1x9— Progressive International (@ProgIntl) April 28, 2021
#BREAKING: Thousands of people took to the streets in Colombia to protest against the gov’ts proposed controversial tax reform, which would increase taxes on individuals & business, and eliminate exemptions.pic.twitter.com/ZfOoQcd5Dl— Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) April 29, 2021
The Colombian economy has been heavily hit by the pandemic with a 6.8 percent economic decline recorded in 2020 and over 14 percent unemployment. The government has proposed plugging the deficit with $6 billion in tax increases by introducing VAT to some basic goods, including eggs. However, following angry demonstrations, Colombian President Ivan Duque said on Friday that the tax reform would be revised.
I really need U.S. twitter to hype up these girls who vogued at an anti-government protest in Bogotá, Colombia yesterday and defied orders from Colombia’s ESMAD riot police, known for their often brutal treatment of protestors. This took serious guts pic.twitter.com/MiALaLe3BG— Alex Bare (@alexbaretv) April 29, 2021