The UN says Colombian police in Cali have ‘opened fire’ on protests initiated by the government to pay taxes.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OHCHR) has expressed “grave concern” at the violence in the Colombian city of Cali, saying police had “opened fire” on activists on days protesting against tax evasion.
In a statement issued at a press conference in Geneva on Tuesday, the Prophet Maria Hurtado said the body was working to determine the number of casualties but reports that several people had been killed and injured overnight in Cali.
“We express our deepest sympathy for what happened there and extend our solidarity with those who lost their lives, as well as the injured and their families,” he said.
Teachers, university students, trade unions, Afro-Colombian and Indian groups and many others began to take to the streets to protest against President Ivan Duque’s legitimate education. According to the OHCHR, at least 14 people have died since the protests began on April 28.
Indications continued Monday even after Duque repealed the controversial taxes, which critics said they favored the rich and increased pressure on workers and middle class, and Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla issued.
Hurtado told reporters in Geneva that things had changed dramatically before Wednesday’s massacre.
“As a result of the crisis, soldiers and police have been deployed to monitor the protest, and we call for calm,” Hurtado said, adding that “most of the protests have been so peaceful.”
The objections are beyond taxes, beaten by police, the economic downturn in the epidemic, and insecurity add to the dissatisfaction.
“We remind state authorities of their responsibility to protect human rights, including the right to life and security, and to support the exercise of the right to peaceful assembly,” Hurtado said.