UN human rights office urges calm, after bloodshed in Colombian city of Cali (4 May 2021)

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  • United Nations published this video item, entitled “UN human rights office urges calm, after bloodshed in Colombian city of Cali (4 May 2021)” – below is their description.

    The UN human rights office (OHCHR) said it was “deeply alarmed at developments in the city of Cali in Colombia overnight, where police opened fire on demonstrators protesting against tax reforms, reportedly killing and injuring a number of people,” according to a spokesperson. OHCHR

    We are deeply alarmed at developments in the city of Cali in Colombia overnight, where police opened fire on demonstrators protesting against tax reforms, reportedly killing and injuring a number of people.

    Our office in Colombia is working to verify the exact number of casualties and establish how this terrible incident came about in Cali. Human rights defenders are also reporting they have been harassed and threatened.

    We express our profound shock at the events there and stress our solidarity with those who have lost their lives, as well as the injured and their families.

    Despite an announcement from the Colombian presidency on 2 May that the tax reform bill would be removed from Congress, the protests, which began on 28 April, have been continuing, with calls for a massive demonstration tomorrow, 5 May. The majority of the protests to date have been peaceful.

    Given the extremely tense situation, with soldiers as well as police officers deployed to police the protest, we call for calm. We remind the State authorities of their responsibility to protect human rights, including the right to life and security of person, and to facilitate the exercise of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

    We stress also that law enforcement officers should abide by the principles of legality, precaution, necessity and proportionality when policing demonstrations. Firearms can only be used as a measure of last resort against an imminent threat to life or of serious injury.

    Since 28 April, the UN Human Rights Office has received allegations of at least 14 deaths in the context of the protests in different parts of Colombia, including at least one police officer.”

    United Nations YouTube Channel

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    In This Story: Colombia

    Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country largely in the north of South America, with territories in North America. Colombia is bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea, the northwest by Panama, the south by Ecuador and Peru, the east by Venezuela, the southeast by Brazil, and the west by the Pacific Ocean.

    The capital is Bogotá, the country’s largest city. With over 50 million inhabitants Colombia is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse countries in the world. The Republic of Colombia was declared in 1886. Panama seceded in 1903.

    Colombia’s territory encompasses Amazon rainforest, highlands, grasslands, and deserts, and it is the only country in South America with coastlines and islands along both the Atlantic and Pacific.

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