Colombia: United Nations condemns excessive use of force by security forces

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Geneva | The United Nations strongly condemned Tuesday “the excessive use of force” by the security forces during demonstrations in Colombia against a tax reform and in particular in Cali, in the west of the country.

“We are deeply alarmed by the events in the city of Cali in Colombia, where the police opened fire on demonstrators who oppose tax reform, killing and injuring a number of people according to available information,” he said. said Marta Hurtado, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, during a UN press briefing in Geneva.

She also called for calm ahead of a new day of demonstrations scheduled for Wednesday.

“Our office in Colombia is verifying the exact number of victims and determining how this terrible incident could have happened in Cali,” she said, adding that human rights defenders had also reported. threats and harassment.

“Due to the extreme tensions, with soldiers and police in charge of controlling the demonstrations, we call for calm” and “we remind the government authorities to protect human rights” including the right to demonstrate peacefully, a- she added.

“Firearms should only be used as a last resort,” the spokesperson reiterated.

An official report shows 19 dead including a police officer and nearly 850 injured including 306 civilians.