UN human rights office ‘deeply alarmed’ over police violence in Colombia

The World
A police officer is shown wearing all black riot gear and face shield while throwing a stun grenade.

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The violent crackdown on anti-government protests in the Colombian city of Cali has prompted concern over the excessive use of force that resulted in at least 19 deaths, with hundreds of others injured, over the last six days. According to accounts on the streets, police have allegedly shot protesters at point-blank range and used other violent tactics.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a statement on Tuesday saying it was “deeply alarmed” over violence against demonstrators.

“We are deeply alarmed at developments in Cali overnight, where police opened fire on demonstrators, and a number of people were killed and injured,” a UN human rights spokesperson said.

Protesters took to the streets nationwide after the government proposed a tax overhaul aimed at plugging the country’s debt that started during the pandemic. The tax plan has since been withdrawn by President Iván Duque, but large demonstrations have continued.

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Listen: Deadly Mexico City metro collapse raises infrastructure concerns

Firefighters work to lower to the ground a subway car dangling from a collapsed elevated section of the metro, in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. 

Firefighters work to lower to the ground a subway car dangling from a collapsed elevated section of the metro, in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. 


Fernando Llano/AP

A section of the Mexico City metro collapsed late Monday, killing at least 23 people and injuring at least 79, according to officials. The accident happened on the city's newest line, just completed in 2012. And, Syria is set to hold presidential elections in May, with Bashar al-Assad widely expected to win. Many displaced Syrians in Turkey see the elections as a sham. Also, momentum is building for Japan to pass an LGBTQ equality act before the Tokyo Summer Olympics. And, a Belgian farmer casually relocated a historic marker stone while out tending to his property. Find out why it caused quite a stir.

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