Two civilians killed and four police officers injured left clashes during riots in Cali, capital of the department of Valle del Cauca (southwest), the Police reported this Saturday.
The commander of the Cali Metropolitan Police, Brigadier General Juan Carlos León Montes, said at a press conference that the riots occurred on Friday night at the site known as Paso del Comercio.
The officer explained that in that place “there was a very strong confrontation” in which the police “are shot with firearms.”
“Throughout the day (Friday) we had the presence of protesters who wanted to block the road again,” said General León Montes. He added that before the attack, they proceeded to repel with the Mobile Anti-riot Squad (Esmad) and “already at dawn (this Saturday) they confirm the death of two citizens in the place.”
The removal of the bodies was carried out by the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which also undertook the investigation to “clarify those facts.”
Cali, the third largest city in Colombia, has been the most affected by vandals who in recent weeks have attacked public and private buildings, destroyed buses and stations of the public transport system, looted shops and attacked the Police, among other crimes. during the protests against the Government of Colombian President Iván Duque, which began on April 28.
The mobilizations leave at least 20 dead, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, but organizations such as the NGO Temblores point out that there are 45 homicides allegedly committed by the public force, 1,649 arbitrary detentions, 65 eye attacks and 25 cases of sexual violence, among other human rights violations.
On the other hand, the authorities managed to unblock an important highway in the municipality of Palmira, which is part of Valle del Cauca, which had been blocked for 30 days.
The Police reported in a statement that 19 people were captured in this operation for the crime of obstruction on public roads. In addition, five motorcycles were immobilized, two traumatic weapons were seized, four communications radios, incendiary elements including Molotov cocktails, as well as handcrafted protection elements.
The Director of Traffic and Transportation of the Colombian Police, Major General Juan Alberto Libreros, explained that these operations are carried out in compliance with President Duque’s instructions to “guarantee tranquility, security and above all, the free mobility of all Colombians on all the country’s road axes ”.