Death toll rises to 19 in protests against tax reform in Colombia

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According to data released by the Colombian Ombudsman’s Office on the basis of the National Attorney General’s Office and reports from the National Police, 19 people, including 1 policeman, were killed and 846 injured during protests across the country since April 28.

Protesters who took to the capital’s historic Bolivar Square, which is the center of the protests, again reacted to President Ivan Duque’s economic policies with currency and banners in their hands.

Thousands of people marching to the squares, especially in the city of Medellin, Cali and Barranquilla, protested against the attitude of the government and the police towards the demonstrators.

Clashes erupted in parts of Bogota between police officers from the Colombian Social Incident Response Unit ESMAD and protesters.

Police responded with tear gas and stun grenades as well as water sprays at protesters throwing stones, Molotov cocktails and fireworks.

Police have so far detained 431 people on the grounds that they had provoked violent incidents.

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Defense Minister Diego Molano blamed the former Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) and the Marxist organization National Liberation Army (ELN) for the violence in the streets, in a statement.

In a press conference on May 2, Colombian President Ivan Duque said he had decided to withdraw the tax reform bill that had sparked violent protests in the country.

CALL FOR A NATIONAL STRIKE

Anti-tax protests, which began in Colombia on April 28 with the call for a “national strike” by unions, local communities, student groups and various opposition groups, were initially calm and peaceful, but then became the scene of violent events. .

Thousands of people who have taken to the streets in more than 50 cities, including Medellin, Cali, Baranquilla, Cartagena and Valle de Cauca, especially in the capital Bogota, have again protested against the new government reform bill. .

Curfews have been declared in many cities across the country, where buses, stops, banks and shopping malls have been damaged.

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