More than 700 people have been injured and one young man killed by Colombian security forces is the result of the first week of the National Strike against right-wing President Ivan Duque and his neoliberal policies, as well as in defense of peace in the South American nation.
Colombia's Indigenous Peoples Join National Strike in Bogota
According to the National Police, of the 769 injured, 379 are members of the Public Force and 390 protesters.
The Colombian police confirmed that 20 disciplinary processes were opened for alleged cases of abuse of authority and irregularities while the Military Criminal Justice opened 14 investigations. The United States government expressed "steadfast support" to Colombia's far-right government.
Protests intensified last week as news reached of the death of 18-year-old Dilan Cruz, who was shot by the Mobile Anti-Disturbances Squadron (ESMAD) while running away to avoid repression.
They denounce rom the University of Nariño the use of unconventional weapons by ESMAD. A squad that sees protesters as enemies must be dismantled.
Opposition congressmen and Human Rights organizations submitted an urgent request to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to investigate what they call "violent acts and arbitrary detentions," "stigmatization and criminalization" of the protest, "illegal raids" and " incitement to panic” by the government.
Demonstrators are rallying against economic plans - such as a rise in the pension age and a cut to the minimum wage for young people, as well what they say is a lack of government action to stop corruption and the murder of hundreds of human rights activists.
Although the police repression continues, Colombian workers, farmers, and students are on the streets to demand compliance with 13 proposals that the Nation Strike Committee delivered to Duque.
Among them are the repeal of laws and decrees related to tax reforms, changes to the pension system and loss of labor rights. As well as the dissolution of ESMAD, cleaning up the National Police, and punishment of those responsible for the killing of Cruz.