Colombia to Investigate Ten Police Officers who Stood by as Civilians Shot at Protesters

People hold a banner reading “Colombia, we are all” during a march in opposition to road blockades and violence after a month of national protests, in Bogota, Colombia May 30, 2021. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

Colombian authorities are investigating 10 police officers who allowed civilians to shoot at demonstrators in Cali, a high-ranking official said on Monday, while the attorney general’s office linked three more deaths to protests.

The Andean country has seen more than a month of protests against the social and economic policies of the government of President Ivan Duque. The demonstrations were sparked by a now-withdrawn proposed tax reform.

Since the tax reform was withdrawn, protesters’ demands have expanded to include a basic income, opportunities for young people and an end to police violence, including the dissolution of the feared anti-riot unit ESMAD.

Protests have been marked by violence. The attorney general’s office on Monday said 20 deaths have been linked to demonstrations – three more than a previous tally – while rights groups report dozens more protesters have been killed by security forces.

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SOURCE: Reuters