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News > Colombia

Colombians Mobilize in Response to Endless Massacres

  • Youth march in Samaniego one week after nine young people were killed in a massacre. August 22, 2020.

    Youth march in Samaniego one week after nine young people were killed in a massacre. August 22, 2020. | Photo: Facebook/ Harold Rosero

Published 23 August 2020

Protests come in response to an uptick in massacres and lack of adequate response from the government of Ivan Duque.

Mobilizations and ‘cacerolazos’ were held throughout Colombian towns and cities on Saturday in response to frequent massacres and the recent surge of killings of youth and social leaders.


Three Massacres in Colombia in 24 Hours

The protests came as the country learned of another three massacres in a span of 24 hours.

The community in Samaniego, Nariño marched through the town one week since nine youth were killed in a massacre.

Marchers carried signs saying “we are not guerrillas (combatants),” “we are not drug traffickers” and “we are not criminals—we are just young people.”

Additionally, protests have focused on the issues of the resurgence of paramilitarism, police abuse and brutality, violations by the military against civilians and against the normalization of violence throughout the country as the government of Ivan Duque has failed to uphold the 2016 Peace Accords.

Pot-banging protests, called ‘cacerolazos,’ took place at 7pm on Saturday in cities like Cali and Bogotá and were held by Colombians on the exterior, like in the protest held by the community in Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Ivan Duque has been presenting highly dubious figures on ‘collective homicides’ or massacres and making the argument that Colombia has made gains in lowering the rates of such violent crimes.

These massacres and homicides and what’s been reported as a reconfiguration of paramilitary organizations have taken place in North Santander department where U.S. troops are stationed.

The number of massacres in Colombia up til August of this year has nearly surpassed figures for 2019, with 31 of those massacres in Antioquia, Cauca, Nariño, North Santander and Putumayo--which are also the departments which have seen the highest numbers of killings of human rights defenders.


Ivan Duque
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