Wednesday, January 19

COLOMBIA | Clamor against police violence and demonstrations for peace

Colombia cries out against police violence and calls for a reform of the security forces to prevent more murders and abuses, while in Cali, protesters dressed in white have called for peace after twelve days of protests and blockades.

One square of tissue for every death in Colombia. The mothers of the dead and disappeared have gathered in Bogotá, along with other people in solidarity, to stitch the cloth of their pain and weave for the young people who died in the repression of the recent protests, with the country immersed in the debate on violence police and the need to reform law enforcement agencies to prevent further assassinations and abuses.

“Each one (each fabric) represents the dignity that was taken from them and the life that the Colombian Government took from each of these people. And one weaves them with a lot of love, but also with a lot of pain because they are gone”says Luis María Bernal, activist and mother of a missing person.

Colombia celebrates twelve days of protests and blockades. The spark was a tax reform project of the government of Iván Duque, but once this was withdrawn, a host of discomforts came to light, in a country hard hit by the pandemic. The harsh repression of the protests by the forces of order only hardened positions.

The Prosecutor’s Office and the Ombudsman’s Office estimate the deaths at 27 during these days, nine of them unrelated to the mobilization. However, the NGO Temblores has documented 37 fatalities, more than 1,700 cases of abuse of force and nearly a thousand arbitrary arrests.

Pope Francis expresses his concern about the situation in Colombia

Pope Francis referred to Colombia this Sunday at the end of the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.

“I express my concern due to tensions and violent clashes in Colombia that have caused many deaths and injuries. Colombians, we pray for your country “, He said.

Iván Duque demands the end of the blockades

The Government continues to promote the discourse that behind the disturbances that have occurred in some cities are criminal groups and even armed gangs such as the ELN or the FARC dissidents. President Iván Duque has called for the blockades to end and the country to return to work.

“I think we all have to raise our voices and say yes to the conversation, yes to building, but definitely not to blockades, because blockades are not peaceful, they are altering someone else’s life.”, said the president.

White march in Cali to ask for peace

The city of Cali has suffered especially from the confrontations and, above all, the blockades, which have caused a shortage of products and gasoline and have shot up prices. Here the fatigue for this incendiary environment is felt. Dressed in white, protesters have toured the city to ask for calm to return.

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