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News > Colombia

Colombia Turns One Month Protesting Against Ivan Duque

  • Demonstrators protect themselves from ESMAD agents, Bogota, Colombia, May 2021.

    Demonstrators protect themselves from ESMAD agents, Bogota, Colombia, May 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 28 May 2021

Since April 28, 43 people have died, 22 women have been raped, 46 demonstrators suffered eye injuries, and 1,388 people were arbitrarily detained. 

On May 28, Colombia reaches one month of massive and uninterrupted protests against President Ivan Duque. So far, his main response to social demands has been tolerance of police brutality and human rights violations.


Seven Killed in Colombia's 60th Massacre of 2020

The international community condemned police brutality against a massive national strike in which at least 43 people have died, 22 women have been raped, 46 citizens suffered eye injuries, and 1,388 people were arbitrarily detained. These are the most important dates since the social outbreak: 

April 28: First day of National Strike. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets protesting against a tax reform presented by the Duque administration. Two demonstrators were killed by police.

May 2: Colombia's President Ivan Duque withdrew the tax reform bill. People kept protesting to demand better wages and an end to police brutality.

May 4: International community condemns excessive use of force by Police during demonstrations. 

May 5: Duque yields to popular pressure and starts a dialogue with representatives of different political, economic, and social sectors, without including protest leaders.

May 9: Armed men attack an Indigenous march in Cali with the complicity of security forces agents. Eight people are injured during the confrontation. 


May 10: Duque deploys more public forces in Cali, the epicenter of the protests, and makes a quick visit to the city. Meanwhile, representatives of his government meet with the National Strike Committee, reaching no agreement. 

May 11: Dies Lucas Villa, the peaceful demonstrator who was shot eight times during a protest in Pereira.

May 13: Minister of Foreign Affairs Claudia Blum resigns. 

May 14: The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) requests permission to visit Colombia to investigate police brutality during protests. The government rejects the request.

May 17: Duque orders an even greater deployment of security forces nationwide to clear the roads blocked by protesters. Colombian police fire from a helicopter at Yumbo residents.

May 25: Police officers kill law student Camilo Arango as they crackdown on a peaceful protest in Tulua, Valle del Cauca.

May 26: At least 82 people get injured in Bogota while police officers repress several peaceful marches with expired tear gas canisters.

May 27: The Senate keeps in office Defense Minister Diego Molano, who is accused of allowing and promoting police brutality. Duque seeks contracts with a Brazilian company to purchase ammunition to repress demonstrators.

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