(COLUMBIA) LATEST: A number of police stations have been attacked in the capital of Bogotá, as widespread protests run into a second week #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.06: Mayor Claudia López requested the help of the army to guard the stations, calling the violence “inadmissible”.

Colombia Protests: ‘At least 19 deaths have been confirmed since they started & the UN has urged the security forces to refrain from using firearms’ as demonstrators were gathering for fresh nationwide protests on Wednesday’

34 minutes ago

A demonstrator makes noise banging a pot during a protest against the government of President Ivan Duque on 4 May
Demonstrators are now calling for reforms in some other areas, including education and healthcare

The victims include 18 civilians and a police officer, Colombia’s ombudsman said. More than 800 people have been injured in clashes between the police and demonstrators while more than 80 others are reported as missing.

Bogotá’s city officials said 25 immediate response police commando posts, known as CAI for the initials in Spanish, had been attacked during the night. CAI are small police stations which can be found dotted across neighbourhoods and often consist of little more than a room or two.

One CAI was set on fire with 15 officers inside, who managed to escape alive, Mr López said. There were also reports of police being shot and being attacked by people with knives, she added.

On Wednesday, city officials said the night of violence across Bogotá had left 72 civilians and 19 police officers injured. Incidents were also reported in other cities including Cali, where the clashes have been at their most violent. 

Why are people protesting?

The demonstrations started on 28 April and were initially in opposition to the tax reform that the government said was key to mitigating the country’s economic crisis.

The rallies were organised by the biggest trade unions, but were also joined by many middle-class people who feared the changes could see them slip into poverty. 

AFP: The nationwide protests were initially against the now-cancelled tax reform bill

The proposal would have lowered the threshold at which salaries are taxed, affecting anyone with a monthly income of 2.6m pesos ($684; £493) or more. It would also have eliminated many of the current exemptions enjoyed by individuals, as well as increasing taxes imposed on businesses.

On Sunday, President Iván Duque announced he would withdraw the bill. But that was not enough to stop the protests, which have become a broad call for improvements to Colombia’s pension, health and education systems, as well as against what demonstrators say is excessive use of violence by the security forces.

What is happening in Cali?

Some of the most violent incidents have been reported in the western city of Cali, the country’s third largest. Roads have been blocked and dozens of police, public and private buildings attacked. The commander of the army has been sent to the city to co-ordinate the security efforts.

AFPCali has been the scene of some of the worst clashes

The United Nations’ human rights office said on Tuesday that it was “deeply alarmed” by the violence against protesters in the city.

It said that “police opened fire on demonstrators” in Cali on Monday. While no official figures have been released yet, local media say at least five people were killed.

Kevin Reyes, a community leader, told BBC Mundo that “hooded police and military officers fired using semiautomatic weapons and rifles” during a demonstration. “There were children and mothers,” he added. 

Experts say other factors have contributed to the unrest: this is one of the most violent cities in the country, located in a region affected by decades of conflict waged by paramilitary groups and drug traffickers. They also point to the high number of weapons in the area.

“There are civilian groups calling for de-escalation of violence,” said Katherine Aguirre, a human rights expert. “But we’ve also seen groups of citizens who have started shooting from their homes, vigilantism stimulated by the flow of weapons in the city.”

What is the government saying?

The government has blamed the violence on left-wing rebels. It says it is being stoked by members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) as well dissident factions of the Farc guerrilla group, who have not accepted the 2016 peace deal and have refused to disband.

“The violence was systematic, premeditated and financed by criminal organisations,” Defence Minister Diego Molano said.

Police officials say, in many cases, it was their officers who were attacked as they tried to prevent “criminal elements” from looting stores and torching buses.

Meanwhile, President Duque said the government was ready for national dialogue and announced the creation of a “space to listen to citizens and construct solutions”.

It is not the first time that anti-government protests have turned deadly in Colombia. Most recently, last September, at least seven people were killed in protests triggered by the deadly tasering of a man by police in Bogotá.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: May.06: 2021:

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#bogota, #columbia, #demonstrators, #protests, #un

HEBRON: ‘ ISRAELI FORCES DISPERSE 300 STONE THROWING PALESTINIAN DEMONSTRATORS ‘

#AceWorldNews – HEBRON – Nov.22 – The Israeli forces have dispersed some 300 stone-throwing Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank city of Hebron, the military said Friday.

No injuries were reported and no arrests were made, according to the army.

Smaller clashes took place at Qalandiya and Kadom in West Bank, AP reported. The clashes came as Palestinians say that Israel wants to change the status quo at a contested Jerusalem holy site.

During prayers on Friday, no serious incidents were reported at the Temple Mount, which for the second week in a row was open to all Muslim worshippers, regardless of age.

#ANS2014 

#arrests, #demonstrators, #prayers, #worshippers

#Bangkok : ” Thai Policeman Shot Dead as Clashes with Protesters continue during `Raid’ to reclaim `Besieged’ Government Building”

#AceWorldNews says that a Thai policeman was shot dead as security forces clashed with protesters during a raid to reclaim besieged government buildings in Bangkok Tuesday.

“One policeman was shot dead and four injured,” Police Lieutenant General Prawut Thavornsiri told AFP. One of the casualties was seriously injured by shrapnel from a blast.

A total of 44 people were hurt, according to the city’s Erawan emergency medical centre.

Demonstrators rejected a police demand to leave the area around the prime minister’s offices within one hour.

#bangkok, #demonstrators, #government, #policeman, #protesters, #thailand

#Bangkok : ” Thousands Surround `Government House’ as `Protesters seek to Oust’ the Prime Minister”

#AceWorldNews says according to latest reports thousands of protesters seeking to oust Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra surrounded the government’s headquarters in Bangkok on Monday, Reuters reported.

The move is seen as a defiant riposte to police efforts to begin retaking sites the protesters have been occupying for weeks.

More than 10,000 demonstrators surrounded the heavily-barricaded Government House, the prime minister’s main offices. The demonstrators also threatened to seal entrances to the complex to prevent Yingluck and other ministers from working there.

#bangkok, #demonstrators, #prime-minister, #protesters, #reuters, #yingluck-shinawatra

#Bahrain : `Unrest as People Die During Protest Marking Third Anniversary of Countries Uprising’

#AceWorldNews says a policeman in Bahrain has died of wounds sustained during a bomb blast at a protest marking the third anniversary of the country’s uprising, the interior minister said Saturday morning.

The two servicemen were initially hurt when an explosion hit a bus carrying them in the coastal village in Muharraq, Bahrain’s second-largest island.

Another three policemen were injured by an explosion near the village of Dih, while 38 demonstrators were injured in clashes.
The demonstrations were commemorating the 2011 unrest demanding more rights and an end to discrimination against the majority Shia community in the Sunni kingdom.

#bahrain, #bomb-blast, #demonstrations, #demonstrators, #policeman, #shia, #sunni

`Venezuelan Government Seeks Protest Leader’s Arrest’

#AceWorldNews says that the Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez has been issued with an arrest warrant by a Venezuelan court on charges including murder and terrorism for organizing protests that resulted in the death of three people on Wednesday. President Nicolas Maduro accuses Lopez of trying to instigate violence in a bid to mount a coup.

At least three people were shot dead as violence erupted during anti-government protests in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas on Wednesday. Police clashed with violent activists and used tear gas after some 10,000 demonstrators had dispersed following a mainly peaceful rally.

#demonstrators, #opposition-leaders, #president-nicholas-maduro, #venezuelan

Egypt; ” Day After Referendum on Constitution Violence Erupts Between Muslim Brotherhood and Security Forces”

#AceWorldNews says that Doctors have confirmed the death of at least two people in clashes between pro- Muslim Brotherhood activists and security forces in Egypt. Witnesses on the ground report at least 6 deaths. Dozens of others have been wounded as violence erupted in Suez, Fayoum and Cairo with protesters throwing gasoline bombs, firing bird-shot and hurling rocks, while police responded with tear gas. Authorities reported the arrest of 125 demonstrators. The unrest took place a day after a referendum on a new constitution.

#bombs, #cairo, #death, #demonstrators, #doctors, #egypt, #gasoline, #muslim-brotherhood, #referendum, #security-forces, #violence