Protests continue in Colombia, curfew imposed on Bogota as human rights concerns mount

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Twitter photo of protest in Barrancabermeja on November 22 via Twitter.

On November 23, The Guardian reported, “After more than 250,000 people marched on Thursday to express growing discontent with president Iván Duque’s government, another large crowd gathered on Friday afternoon in Bogotá’s Bolívar Plaza.”

“The crowd, which included the elderly and families, was dispersed by police firing tear gas, sending protesters running up the steep, narrow streets of the historic district.”

“Bogotá’s mayor, who earlier banned alcohol sales, said there would be a 9pm curfew in force for the whole city with the exception of the Bosa, Kennedy and Ciudad Bolívar neighbourhoods, where the curfew was to begin at 8pm.”

“The protests have flared amid rumours about possible economic reforms and anger at what protesters say is a lack of government action to stop corruption and the murder of human rights activists.”

Front Line Defenders has reported that 126 human rights defenders were killed in Colombia in 2018. Indepaz says that 738 human rights defenders were killed between January 1, 2016 and July 20, 2019.

Al Jazeera adds, “The president said he was stepping up the police presence and ordering the ‘deployment of joint patrols of police and army in the most critical places.’”

“But that did not stop hundreds of people from showing up outside Duque’s house in Bogota, singing the national anthem while banging pots and pans in a form of protest that is common in parts of Latin America. The protesters dispersed peacefully about one hour after the 9pm (02:00 GMT on Saturday) curfew began, AFP news agency reported.”

“Earlier in the day, thousands had gathered in Bogota’s Bolivar Plaza for a renewed anti-government protest. The recent demonstrations have brought together protesters from nearly all sectors of society, with qualms ranging from recently proposed labour reform and an uptick in the number of killings of indigenous and social leaders to structural problems and corruption that have been part of Colombia for generations.”

On November 22, Amnesty International issued this statement: “The Colombian authorities must put an end to the repression of social protests and the excessive use of force against those who manifest themselves, guaranteeing the human rights of all people and ensuring that any action they develop is in accordance with the international law of the human rights.”

For the latest updates on social media, you can follow these hashtags on Twitter: #ElParoSigue #23NParoNacional #ParoNacionalColombia #ParoNacional

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