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Iván Duque calls for dialogue in Colombia while protests continue

2021-05-07T20:37:32.313Z

Congress had to be evacuated this Wednesday after being attacked by violent groups demonstrating in Bogotá. The president has asked to reach "an agreement on what is fundamental" to initiate dialogue and stop the crisis, which has left at least 24 dead and hundreds injured.



The president of Colombia, Iván Duque, made a call on Wednesday for dialogue on the eighth day of national protests against his government for a failed tax reform, after a group of protesters attacked the headquarters of Congress in the capital, Bogotá this afternoon. .

A group tried to enter the parliamentary headquarters by force

, causing the congressmen who were present to interrupt the session of the House of Representatives to take cover.

At least 24 people have lost their lives in Colombia following clashes between the police and violent groups among protesters, most of whom have protested peacefully.

The President of Colombia, Iván Duque, Announces the Withdrawal of the Tax Reform at a Press Conference in Bogotá;

on May 2, 2021.REUTERS

In an attempt to regain the initiative in the political crisis, Duque asked the leaders of the protests to reach

“an agreement on the fundamentals”

, to lay the foundations for dialogue, echoing the phrase of Álvaro Gómez Hurtado, a conservative leader in that country assassinated in 1995.

The United Nations, the Organization of American States, the European Union, Human Rights Watch, among others,

have condemned police brutality during the demonstrations.

Deep discontent overflowed in response to the management of the conservative Duque government, particularly in rejection of

a tax reform that has already been withdrawn

and prompted the resignation of the finance minister.

"There are internal complications"

Among the hundreds of thousands who have demonstrated peacefully in all regions of the country,

there have also been looting, vandalism and some attacks against the police.

But one of the most striking incidents occurred when violent groups gathering in the central Plaza de Bolívar broke into the congressional session and the president of the House of Representatives, Germán Blanco, was forced to suspend the session.

"Mr. Secretary, we are going to take a break from this session," Blanco said, trying to maintain his composure.

"There are internal complications in the House of Representatives, I hope the colleagues understand it in virtuality, we have many difficulties ... but here the safety of the assistants prevails."

At that moment, a woman part of the videoconference urges him: "President, get out of there, safety comes first."

Outside, just steps away, Colombian riot police, Esmad, detonated stun bombs and fired tear gas at point-blank range at protesters in Plaza de Bolívar.

In Bogotá, "a frankly tragic and painful night"

In a message at times visibly affected, the mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, reported at dawn on Wednesday of "a frankly tragic and painful night."

There were 30 citizens and 16 police officers injured.

Of them, 10 were attacked and locked in a police station where

a violent group of protesters tried to burn them alive.

"The level of destruction, of violence, of attacks against citizens, against public property, against our police that we have seen tonight is really unusual," said the mayor.

People demonstrate against the government of Iván Duque in the Bolívar square in Bogotá, on May 5, 2021. Juan Barreto / AFP via Getty Images

Bogotá Police General Eliécer Camacho told reporters that

25 police stations were vandalized and 3 of them incinerated.

On Tuesday alone, eight stations of the mass transit system, Transmilenio, were vandalized, as were 104 buses, four of them incinerated.

The entire system had to operate until 3:00 pm and at 60% of its capacity, López said.

The

Army is

hacked

The group of hackers

,

or cyber pirates, Anonymous, attacked the web pages of the Colombian Army, according to the newspaper El Tiempo.

For almost a decade, Anonymous has attacked entities as diverse as Facebook, the Brazilian government of Jair Bolsonaro, and the Mexican cartel Los Zetas.

The UN denounces excessive use of police force during protests in Colombia

May 4, 202100: 34

"#Anonymous Colombia withdraws the official page of the Colombian National Army in rejection of the murders and harassment presented during the national strike against the tax reform presented by the government of Iván Duque," they indicated on their Twitter account.

The group had revealed the email addresses and passwords of 168 members of the Colombian Armed Forces and accused them of creating "panic by scaring that the guerrillas kill, when they are the same military assassinating and massacring their people."

Protesters and Esmad agents face off in front of the Capitol in Bogotá's Plaza Bolívar, on May 5, 2021.AFP via Getty Images

From his official global account, Anonymous tweeted that they "declare war" on the Duque government for its response to the demonstrations in recent days.

FLIP, an organization that watches over the freedom of the press, has documented

at least 70 attacks by the Police against the press

during the protests.

With information from El Tiempo.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2021-05-07

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