Colombia's social movements will install a "National Popular Assembly" in Bogota on June 6, 7, and 8 to put pressure on President Ivan Duque to respond to the people's demands after several failed dialogue attempts.
Colombia Goes on Strike to Demand an End to Violence
The Assembly will propose to extend nationwide protests to overthrow the Duque administration and its neoliberal policies, legitimize peaceful protests, promote new road blockades, and put an end to police brutality.
"This will be a broad, consultative, democratic, participatory, and decision-making process. Colombians have the right to build together the country's fate," Colombia's National Agrarian Coordinator (CNA) stated.
The event will be attended by organizations such as the Alliance of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches of Latin America (AIPIRAL), Musa Paradisiaca, and Retirees and Pensioners of the National Assembly (JPNA).
Social leaders called for the Assembly shortly after videos spread on social networks showed army helicopters chasing protesters in Cali on Thursday night.
"We urge the government to stop the persecution of protesters and to guarantee peaceful demonstration. We can't remain inert before the human rights violations that the Colombian people are suffering," the movements stated.
On Thursday, the National Strike Committee (CPN) warned that the Mobil Anti-Riot Squadron (ESMAD) is holding 400 protesters in a warehouse in Cali.
"If the government does not act quickly, these people could get disappeared just like the 129 demonstrators that have been reported missing amid the social outbreak," CPN added.
From April 28 to May 31, Colombia recorded 1,649 arbitrary detentions, 3,789 cases of police brutality, 45 killings by ESMAD agents, 25 victims of sexual violence, 65 eye assaults, and 187 cases of gunfire.