Colombian President Warns Indigenous Protesters Amid Mounting Attacks by Vigilantes

HeadlineMay 11, 2021

In Colombia, as massive anti-government protests continue for a second week, the city of Cali has become the epicenter of skyrocketing violence against demonstrators by police and vigilantes. On Sunday, over a dozen protesters were wounded after they were attacked by unknown armed assailants who demanded protesters end the blockade of major highways during a series of Indigenous-led actions in Cali. Right-wing President Iván Duque on Monday announced more security forces would be deployed to Cali and urged Indigenous leaders to leave the city. This is one of the protesters.

Giovanni Yule: “The president has been making some reforms and changes against the Colombian people, benefiting a few families, big banks and big international corporations and placing all the tax burden on the country’s poorest population.”

Nationwide protests started on April 28 against a now-withdrawn tax reform proposed by Duque and have continued to grow amid increasing poverty, inequity and police brutality in Colombia. This is a member of the National Strike Committee speaking from Bogotá Monday.

Jennifer Pedraza: “One of the basic guarantees we asked for was respect for the constitutional right to peaceful protest, a simple social right. On the contrary, the discourse of President Iván Duque was permissive toward the excess of the security forces.”

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