May 5, 2021 - World

Violent protests in Colombia leave at least 24 dead

Demonstrators in Bogota on Tuesday.

Demonstrators in Bogota on May 4. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Mass anti-government protests unfolded across Colombia on Wednesday, topping off a week of unrest that has left at least 24 people dead, reports The Guardian.

Why it matters: The demonstrations started as a strike against a proposed tax reform but developed into wider outcry "over poverty exacerbated by the pandemic, human rights abuses and the authorities’ heavy-handed response to protests," per The Guardian.

The state of play: The unpopular tax reform proposal would have increased taxes on businesses and eliminated many of the individual exemptions passed due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports the BBC.

  • President Iván Duque Márquez announced last Sunday that the proposal would be shelved but protests have continued.

The big picture: Both Amnesty International and the United Nations have condemned the use violence by Colombian authorities in suppressing the protests.

  • More than 800 people have been injured in the clashes between protestors and the police, BBC reports.
  • 23 protestors have died as well as one police officer, per The Guardian.
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