UN human rights chief calls for investigation of protesters’ deaths in Colombia


United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Sunday requested inquiries on the deaths of anti-government protesters in Cali, Colombia, following violent clashes between protesters and the military.

The state of play: Colombia recently entered its second month of anti-government protests, sparked by a proposed tax reform, but which then spilled over into a social movement focused on poverty and inequality in the country.

  • Cali, the third largest city in the country, has been an epicenter of the protests and President Ivan Duque deployed the military on Saturday to “quell the unrest,” the BBC reports.
  • Fourteen people have been killed in Cali since Friday and 98 have been injured with 54 of the injuries resulting from firearms, according to the statement from Bachelet’s office.
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken “expressed his concern and condolences for the loss of human life during the recent protests in Colombia and reiterated the indisputable right of citizens to demonstrate peacefully” during a meeting with Marta Lucía Ramírez, Colombian Vice-President and Minister of Foreign Affairs on Friday, by a declaration State Department spokesman Ned Price.

What they say : “These events are all the more worrying given the progress that has been made in resolving, through dialogue, the social unrest that erupted a month ago,” Bachelet said in the statement.

  • “It is essential that all those allegedly involved in injury or death, including state officials, are investigated promptly, effectively, independently, impartially and transparently, and that those responsible are held accountable. “
  • Bachelet also called for the “right to a fair trial and due process” of those detained during the clashes, which the United Nations estimates there are at least 30.

But, but, but: Not everyone agrees with the protesters. Thousands of people marched through Bogota on Sunday to show their support for the security forces and call for an end to anti-government protests, Reuters reports.


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