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Ivan Duque in 2020. Photo: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Colombian President Ivan Duque on Sunday announced plans to modernize the country's police force after weeks of protests, which have sparked an international outcry over alleged human rights abuses, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The mass anti-government protests have entered their second month in the country. Last month UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called for investigations into deaths of protestors at the hands of the police.

The state of play: The protests were sparked by proposed tax reforms but then widened into a social movement focused on poverty and inequality in the country.

  • "The attorney general's office says 20 deaths are linked directly to more than a month of demonstrations against Duque's social and economic policies, while rights groups report dozens killed by security forces," reports Reuters.
  • At least three officers are facing murder charges, per the news agency.

The big picture: The proposed reforms, which Duque said he would ask Congress to approve, include the creation of a human rights directorate, which will seek international input on policy, as well as a new education directorate for officer training, Reuters reports.

  • The reforms would also "expanded disciplinary standards for officers" and create a new complaints system.
  • A new design for police uniforms will incorporate body cameras and more clearly display officer's names and ranks, said Duque.

What's next: The law will officially be proposed at the start of the next legislative session in July, per Reuters.

Go deeper

DOJ to set new rules for federal police department monitors

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaking at a press conference. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday that the Department of Justice will implement new rules for federal monitors charged with overseeing mandated police reforms.

Why it matters: The DOJ is currently pursuing "pattern or practice" investigations into police misconduct at the Phoenix, Louisville and Minneapolis police departments.

Texas abortion law remains in effect after appeals court ruling

Pro- and anti-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court as arguments begin about the Texas abortion law on Capitol Hill in November. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A U.S. appeals court transferred a challenge to Texas' law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy to the state supreme court in a 2-1 vote on Monday evening.

Why it matters: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision means the country's most restrictive abortion law can remain in place for the time being.

2 hours ago - World

At least 2 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least two people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Monday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told Axios over the phone that two people had been confirmed to have died in the disaster.

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