More than 200 thousand people protest in Colombia, authorities call for peace

About 207 thousand people take part in protests in Colombia, unrest has swept a number of major cities in the country, the president and the government are calling on citizens to peace.

“In general, the marchers held a peaceful protest, about 207 thousand people took part in these peaceful marches”,  – Interior Minister Nancy Gutierrez told reporters, a video of the statement posted on Twitter by the Colombian police.

The minister’s statement contradicts information from various regions of the country and the words of the director of the national police, Oscar Atehortua, who reported on delinquent offenders and injured policemen.

“Twenty-two people were detained for disturbing public order… 28 policemen were injured”,  – said Atehortua, speaking after Gutierrez.

In Bogota, protesters attacked the congress and city halls of the city, the center is patrolled by armored vehicles and water cannons, but the protesters do not disperse.
In Kali, demonstrators block roads and block public transport stations, and a curfew has been announced from 7 p.m.
In Cauca, police attacked the University of Valle with tear gas. Students were evacuated. Demonstrators blocked the streets of the city.
During the day, the president and government repeatedly emphasized the peaceful nature of the demonstrations and urged marchers to respect the rights of fellow citizens.

“You can’t loudly declare your rights and at the same time violate the rights of others”, –  said President Ivan Duque on Twitter.
The protests were originally conceived as marches of students and teachers, but the political opposition announced its intention to also hold a general strike on this day. Citizens protest against inaction of the authorities in the fight against crime, economic policy

The authorities in Colombia have previously expressed fears that the protests could go according to the scenario of neighboring countries, where riots caused human casualties and serious economic damage. On the eve of the protests, the migration service closed land and river borders, the government announced emergency measures, which include a ban on carrying weapons, limiting the sale and consumption of alcohol, and the possibility of curfews.


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