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Clashes between demonstrators revolted by a police blunder and the police continued into the night from Thursday to Friday in Bogota and other cities of the country. At least ten people died and hundreds were injured.
Second day of protests in Bogota and the tension does not weaken. Revolted by a police blunder, the demonstrators again gathered in several neighborhoods of the Colombian capital, Thursday, September 10, and clashes with the police finally broke out in the night. At least ten people died and hundreds were injured.
Seven people, most of whom were “very young”, were shot dead in Bogota, the capital’s mayor, Claudia Lopez, told a press conference Thursday. The seven victims were between 17 and 27 years old. Authorities in Soacha, a suburb of Bogota, told AFP that three other deaths had been recorded in the city.
“We are not on a battlefield”
Violent clashes also broke out overnight in Medellin (north-west) and Cali (south-west), AFP journalists noted.
The government announced the sending in reinforcement of 1,600 police officers and 300 soldiers. The mayor of the capital also specified that 175 people were injured, including 66 by firearms and 12 by knives, “yet we are not on a battlefield”, she was indignant.
The casualty toll was then reassessed to a total of at least 209 civilians and 188 law enforcement personnel.
“Indiscriminate use of firearms”
“There is solid evidence of an indiscriminate use of firearms by the police (…) What type of training do they receive to have this absolutely disproportionate response to a demonstration?”, Had previously declared the mayor, who is an activist in opposition to President Ivan Duque.
According to the government, 56 police stations were “vandalized” and 77 people arrested for “violence against the police”. “We are facing massive acts of violence,” said Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo.
As of Wednesday afternoon, hundreds of people gathered to protest outside the police station where Javier Ordoñez had been taken during his violent arrest the night before. The scene, filmed by witnesses, was posted on social media, quickly going viral. The 43-year-old engineer, who was completing his law studies, died a few hours later in hospital.
Extensive clashes in Medellin, Cali or Barranquillla
Clashes broke out and then spread in several districts of the capital as well as in other large cities, such as Medellin, Cali or Barranquilla (north).
Among the injured, Frankpierre Charry, 23, now hospitalized between life and death. “He was going to a block, he found himself in front of two police officers who were hiding and who shot him”, in the south of the capital, told AFP his mother Blanca Clavijo.
“Doctors say he was shot in the back, a very short distance away, which hit his stomach and damaged his intestines, his colon,” she said, desperate, demanding that “justice be done for them. murderous policemen “.
In videos shared on social media, we can see terrified people fleeing amid gunfire. A man shouts: “He was hit! He was hit!”, While another, bloodied, lying on the ground, is dragged by the demonstrators.