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Thousands Of Colombians In Anti-govt March In Madrid

Thousands of Colombians marched in central Madrid on Saturday in support of an anti-government movement that killed more than 40 in a police clash.

Madrid protesters, many wearing national colors or wearing the Colombian flag, chanting “democracy,” “peace and justice,” while waving the “SOS” flag. I marched on the main road in a festive but determined mood.

At the beginning of the procession, a protester sewed his lips together.




Photo: AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS

Colombian Foreign Minister Claudia Blum resigned Thursday following international accusations of excessive force used by law enforcement agencies against civilians engaged in anti-government protests since April 28.

Official figures show that clashes between Colombian police and protesters have killed at least 42 people (including one police officer) and injured more than 1,500.

NGOs say the real numbers are higher.


One demonstrator seemed to sew his lips together
One demonstrator seemed to sew his lips together
Photo: AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS

Protests in Colombia have been triggered by tax reform bills in late April since it was withdrawn, with the finance minister behind it resigning in early May.

However, the demonstration continued, stimulated by anger at the governments of the countries fighting the ongoing violence and financial difficulties exacerbated by the coronavirus epidemic.

“We support our people because the government is killing us,” Sarah, one of the protesters in Madrid, told AFP.

“We want a safe country, a new Colombia with new leaders,” added the 46-year-old.

“To make a real difference, we need to change the president,” said Ricardo Morella, 60, from Cali, western Colombia.

Analysts say Colombian President Ivan Duque has come across as unstable and untouched in the face of protests and the resulting international criticism.



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