Four people have been killed during new protests in Colombia’s second-largest city of Galle. President Ivan Duke is now sending thousands of troops to the city.
“Starting tonight, the Army will assist the maximum-capable police force in the city of Gali,” Duke declared.
Authorities say at least four people have been killed in clashes in the city on Friday.
Duke said more than 7,000 soldiers will be sent to clear the roadblocks Reuters.
According to the president, troops are also being sent to the province around the city of Vale del Gaga in the west of the country.
Since April 28, there has been great unrest in Colombia. Tens of thousands took to the streets on Friday to mark a month of protests.
Authorities say 17 people have been killed in protests and clashes, including by two police officers. Human Rights Watch (HRW) believes the real number is 63, while the local human rights group Trembling They believe they can document at least 43 people killed in clashes with Colombian security forces.
Khali has become the headquarters for protests. Governor Clara Luce Roldan has imposed a curfew across the province after 7 p.m.
According to Galle Mayor George Evan Ospina, the latest deaths come after clashes between “detainees and those trying to cross a barrier”.
Video footage from the city shows one person lying in a pool of blood, while another person stands nearby with a gun in his hand. The last man is then attacked by a group.
Ospina apologizes for what he described as “a crazy situation with death and suffering.”
– It cannot be allowed to continue empty. We cannot aspire to violence and death, he said.
– Very worried
– We are deeply concerned about the current situation of Melandes in Galle, writes Juliette de Rivero, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia Twitter Saturday morning.
Melandes is a district in Galle, where two people are said to have been killed in the night. Also, health workers are said to have been attacked, but it is not clear whether it was protesters or security forces.
– In meeting the events in Galle, we bring an important call to resume the dialogue in response to the concerns of all the people and the undeniable respect for human rights, writes the High Commissioner TwitterNews on the same day.
Demonstrations began in late April against the proposed tax reform.
It was later dropped, but protests continued. The police’s handling of the protests has drawn international criticism.
Opposition leaders have demanded that the government recognize the abuse of security forces.
The government acknowledges that there are some rotten apples among the security forces, but left-wing guerrilla groups and FRC insurgents say they have infiltrated the protests to incite violence and violence.
– We have to stay on the streets
The demands of the protesters include, among other things, minimum wages, better opportunities for young people and an end to police violence.
In most parts of the country, protests take place quietly, but with riots and violent incidents in the evenings and at night.
During song and music during Friday’s demonstrations in the capital, Bogot, protesters said they would continue to protest.
– Until the government listens to us, we should be on the streets, says Alejandro Franco (23), an opponent who immediately finished his studies.
He told Reuters that, among other things, he had proven to be a better education and healthier.
– If the people do not have peace, the government should not have it either, says Franco.
The President should not have signed an agreement
Negotiations between the opposition leaders and the government have been going on for two weeks. On Wednesday this week, the parties reached a pre-agreement to end the protests, but according to strike organizers, the government has not signed the agreement. Organizers are now accusing the government of putting an end to the progress of the talks.
– President Francisco Malts at the CUT union says we have already reached an agreement and only the president’s signature is missing before negotiations begin.
The government says some of the protest leaders did not sign the agreement because they did not want to condemn the roadblocks, which Reuters writes is undeniable. They added that talks would resume on Sunday.
Protests and roadblocks have cost the country just 22 billion Norwegian kroner, according to the government. The siege led to shortages of food and other goods, which pushed up the prices of goods.
– I have to close my shop every time there are protests. I’m going bankrupt, but there is no other way for young people to have opportunities, says Latis Ramirez, 62, who owns a store in the south of the capital.