Anti-government protesters and police attacked each other during demonstrations across Colombia, marking the two months of riots that have killed more than 60 people.
Colombia has been affected by protests since April, and the previous opposition to the proposed tax increase has evolved into a mass movement against the right-wing government of President Ivan Duque.
Demonstrators called for an end to police repression and more supportive public policies to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has plunged more than 40% of the country’s 50 million residents into poverty.
In Bogotá, the capital, dozens of people painted the silhouettes of civilians killed by the country’s army during the more than 50 years of conflict between the country and the FARC guerrillas—despite the signing of a peace agreement in 2016, but violence in recent years The incident has made a comeback again.
Human Rights Watch accused law enforcement agencies of committing “serious abuses,” saying that the police were involved in at least 20 homicides. The United States, the European Union and the United Nations all condemned the abuse of power by the police.
The government claims that illegal groups involved in drug trafficking and the National Liberation Army (ELN)-Colombia’s last recognized guerrilla group-have infiltrated the protest movement to create chaos.
A major group representing the protesters stated on June 16 that it would suspend demonstrations and promised to “continue our struggle in other occasions such as art and concerts.” More hardliners in the movement have pledged to continue.