Demonstrations Continue

Nov 23, 2019

On 22 November 2019, demonstrations against the government’s economic policies and potential austerity measures continued in Colombia for the second day in a row. Demonstrators have blocked several roads in the capital Bogotá and have marched along the southern lanes of the Bogotá TransMilenio metro system, blocking services in the area. According to authorities, 68 of a total 138 metro stations have sustained damage in protest-related violence. Further demonstrations are likely to occur later in the day.

Meanwhile, more than 200,000 people participated in anti-government demonstrations in cities across the country amid a countrywide general strike on 21 November. While most of the demonstrations were largely peaceful, clashes broke out between protesters and police officers in several cities, including in Bogotá. Police officers in the capital fired tear gas at protesters who had gathered at the main Plaza Bolívar, located adjacent to the presidential palace. In the southwestern city of Cali, protests turned relatively more violent after demonstrators set up roadblocks and vandalized businesses. Authorities instituted nighttime curfews from 21-22 November in Cali, as well as in the towns of Facatativá, Funza and Popayán, to prevent further escalation of violence.

Earlier in the day, unknown assailants vandalized buses in the city of Nariño and threw Molotov cocktails in the vicinity of the Universidad de Nariño. In Medellin, a group of protesters threw stones at a metro stand and clashes broke out in the vicinity of the Universidad de Antioquia; however, there were no major episodes of violence in the city. Authorities in the department of Valle del Cauca — where Cali is located — stated that three people were killed and more than 270 others were injured, including three police officers, 122 civilians and 148 military personnel, during the violence on 21 November.

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