(ANSA) - ROME, MAY 06 - At least 24 people died during the protests that began in Colombia on April 28 against the government of Iván Duque. This was reported on Wednesday by the country's defense office, underlining that out of the total, 20 people were killed by gunshots, while in 11 cases the alleged culprit would be the police.
According to the authority's report, 17 people died in the Valle del Cauca department, whose capital is Cali, the epicenter of the major unrest and the violent response of the police forces, as recorded in dozens of videos broadcast on social networks. The remaining deaths occurred in different areas of the country.
The Minister of Defense, Diego Molano, has assured that it will be up to the Prosecutor to determine "the facts, regarding the time, manner and place of how they happened" and "who is responsible". The police opened 26 preliminary investigations to establish the responsibilities of their agents regarding violent actions and abuses. However, according to Minister Molano, "the action of our public force" took place "in strict compliance with the law and in respect of human rights".
The Ombudsman, Carlos Camargo, delivered a report to the Prosecutor's Office on Wednesday with the list of 89 people declared missing in the context of social protests. However, the Colombian Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Interpol (Dijin) confirmed that 47 of the 89 people reported have already been located. Four of them were captured as allegedly responsible for vandalism.
Yesterday, rain and cold did not stop the demonstrations in Bogotà, in a new day of national strike called by organizations and trade unions. Also in cities such as Cali, Medellín and Barranquilla there were marches and in some cases new clashes between demonstrators and police. With yesterday's mobilizations, Colombia experienced eight consecutive days of protests in the country. (HANDLE).