Now moving into the 9th week of protests in Bogota. Colombia, with the latest unrest reported Wednesday night (24th June) in several areas within Bogota resulted in vandalism and injuries to both Civilians, and Police Officers. With the deaths of two youths this week, both allegedly receiving fatal wounds from blunt objects during confrontations with the Colombia National Police Anti Disturbance Unit (ESMAD), Bogota has been unable to curb the social unrest with many people still taking to the streets daily.
With hope of the situation calming after the CUT (Central Union of Workers) announced the previous week that they would be suspending marches and instead working on laws to present to the Colombian Congress in July, several isolated incidents have continued to disrupt the Capital.
Local authorities claim that even though most protests are peaceful, a minority continue to incite violence and provoke confrontations with responding Police forces. These criminal acts appear to be taking place during nighttime hours and the local authorities believe that Local Organized Crime Groups are responsible, by paying youths to erupt chaos in an attempt to destabilise local areas and gain territory for carrying out illicit activities such as drug trafficking.
An example of recent violence would be in Suba located in the North West of Bogota. The evening of the 23rd June saw both the Public Transport System Terminal (Transmilenio) and a SuperCade (Local Government Attention Office for the public to carry out financial & administrative errands) vandalised with reports of Molotov Cocktails been thrown at the establishments and Police. As with many other institutions that have been vandalized during recent months, both establishments are now temporarily closed to the general public.
Nationwide protests were triggered on the 28th April by a proposed tax reform which was later retracted by the Government. The last 2 months Colombia wide has seen violent protests which incited a visit from the CIDH (Inter-American Commission on human Rights) known by its acronym in Spanish due to the allegations of excessive force from the Police and impedment of citizens being able to arrive to their labours due to the roadblocks . The National Strikes, participated by the several organizations, to name a few (not limited to) FECODE (Education Union), CRIC (Indigenous Council) caused a massive blow to the Colombia economy due to thousands of roadblocks across the country disrupting major logistical routes, causing food shortages, demand on fuel and other consumables and a knock-on effect for many businesses and industry sectors.
Hundreds of commercial establishments across the country have been vandalized and destroyed with Cali being the epicenter of the unrest and violence. The latter triggered the Colombia President to send thousands of military troops to the region to stem the violence and lift roadblocks. In only 1 night of unrest in Cali, 13 people were reported killed and 26 injured.
Police Structures Vandalized: Figures reported on 10th June 2021:
- 113 CAI (Immediate Attention Command Posts)
- 536 Police unit vehicles
- 12 Police stations
- 4 Police sub-stations
Security Services Colombia
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