According to local authorities in epicenter Cali, a further five fatalities and 33 injuries have been recorded from the Colombia protests. On Tuesday, the United Nations and European Union called for peace and cautioned against the use of excessive force.
UN, EU caution against violence in growing Colombia protests
The protests were initially called in opposition to a now-canceled tax reform but have become a widespread cry for action against poverty and what protesters and several advocacy groups regard as police brutality.
The protests were targeted against Colombian President Ivan Duque's administration. Protester fatalities continue to mount, and demonstrations went on overnight, reported Reuters.
The national police said it would conduct a probe into over two dozen claims of violence. The defense minister has alleged that illegal armed groups had penetrated the demonstrations to provoke violence.
The UN, United States, EU, and rights bodies echoed a chorus of denouncement following official data showing 19 fatalities recorded and 846 injured in running clashes with the security forces. Colombia's human rights ombudsman, a state agency isolated from the government, indicated 89 people were regarded as having "disappeared."
According to the UN, it was particularly surprised by events in Cali on Monday, where it was indicated that police officials had fired on demonstrators. It stated that fatalities had been reported, but it had yet to verify the number, reported BBC.
The western city of Cali has become the target of demonstrators since the protests commenced nearly a week ago. It is the site where 11 of the 19 fatalities were confirmed by the Andean country's human rights ombudsman.
According to the city's mayor, Jorge Ivan Ospina, there is no more blood in Cali. He added attempts are being executed to prevent further loss of life. The tax reform opposed, which would have increased sales and income tax, has been withdrawn by the government. Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla also resigned.
However, the protests against the tax reform have since transformed into broader demonstrations against President Ivan Duque.
On Tuesday, demonstrators blocked roads in numerous parts of the country. It coincided with new demonstrations in the capital Bogota and Cali, reported France 24.
The ombudsman's office had initially put the number of fatalities at 17 since the protests commenced. It was later revised upwards to 19. However, that was before the fresh clashes which transpired in Cali, Colombia's third-largest city.
Intermittent road blockades are postponing shipments out of key Pacific port Buenaventura, remarked local authorities.
Duque has stated his government will draw up a new reform proposal. This was the result of consultations with civil society, lawmakers, and businesses. He also used his nightly TV show to prompt unity.
Cali is the worst affected by the ongoing clashes. As per government orders, it has had soldiers patrolling its streets since last Friday.
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