Mass Protests in Colombia After Government Tries to Make People Poorer, Police Using Lethal Force

Columbia is looking like it’s about to go full Venezuela.

The Guardian:

Mass protests were held across Colombia on Wednesday after a night of unrest the capital city, as street violence continued after more than a week of angry anti-government demonstrations.

23 protesters and one police officer have been killed in the unrest that began with with a general strike over an unpopular tax reform but has grown into an outburst of rage over poverty exacerbated by the pandemic, human rights abuses and the authorities’ heavy-handed response to protests.

Dozens of protestors and police officers were hurt in clashes on the poor southern fringes of Bogotá on Tuesday night. Crowds wrecked 25 police kiosks, setting one on fire and injuring five officers, according to city officials. Bus stations across the city were also vandalized.

Elsewhere, demonstrators blocked roads and painted anti-government slogans on the asphalt as people banged pots and pans from their apartment windows above.

“We must de-escalate. Seriously,” tweeted columnist Jorge Galindo, echoing nationwide calls for calm. “Nothing else matters now.”

President Iván Duque, whose three years in office have been marked by nationwide protests, has been powerless to quell the unrest despite ordering the militarization of major cities and withdrawing his tax plan. His government has attempted to frame the protests as the work of “terrorists” from dissident rebel groups.

Videos analysed by Amnesty International confirmed that police have used lethal weapons, including rifles and semi-automatic guns, against protesters around the country.

The drone of helicopters above has been a constant soundtrack in the south-western city of Cali, the center of unrest where at least 11 protesters have been killed in the last week. Locals reported that internet coverage was unusually spotty during Tuesday night’s demonstrations.

There’s no food and no fuel, just helicopters all the time,” one resident of Cali told the Guardian. “Militarization is in process, gunshots and gas fill the streets.”

You could say “I wonder who could be behind this?”

But you could also just assume that this kind of civil unrest was bound to happen, as a result of this lunatic coronavirus hoax and the collapse of the global economy.

One thing is clear: things are not going to be getting any better, anywhere – aside from possibly China.