Explainer: Bloody protests in Colombia leave at least 26 dead

Protests have raged on in Colombia for 10 days that have left at least 26 dead, hundreds injured and dozens missing.

5/9/2021 9:33:00 PM

Bloody, violent protests have raged on for 10 days throughout Colombia, leaving at least 26 dead and more than 900 reportedly injured, according to local officials and advocacy groups.

Protests have raged on in Colombia for 10 days that have left at least 26 dead, hundreds injured and dozens missing.

Deadly protests in Colombia, explainedProtests have raged on Colombia for 10 days that have left at least 26 dead, hundreds injured and dozens missing.Federico Rios/The New York Times via ReduxBloody, violent protests have raged on for 10 days throughout Colombia, leaving at least 26 dead and more than 900 reportedly injured, according to local officials and advocacy groups.

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Demonstrations erupted in Bogota, Medellin, Cali and other cities on April 28 decrying President Iván Duque's proposed tax hike that critics say would raise the price of food andfor more middle-class workers. The plan was meant to unburden the government from the COVID-19 pandemic's financial strain, The Associated Press reported.

Following outrage, Duque canceled the proposal Sunday and the country's finance minister resigned the following day.But by then, the protest movement had grown, fueled by anger over the violent police response, and now the demands include broad social changes and police reform. headtopics.com

While most of the protests have been peaceful, police have been targeted and several police stations have been burned.The nation's Ombudsman Office and Office of the Attorney General26 deaths in the context of the protests and 145 cases of alleged disappearances, 55 of which have been located and 90 are under verification.

Federico Rios/The New York Times via ReduxPeople block traffic while protesting proposed tax reforms in Bogota, Colombia, May 4, 2021.Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty ImagesDemonstrators block a street with a barricade during a protest against President Ivan Duque's government in Cali, Colombia, May 5, 2021.

Footage and photos from the brutal clashes show thousands flooding the streets; Colombian riot police firing tear gas canisters at crowds, appearing to shoot protesters point blank; and demonstrators throwing rocks at officers.Among the dead is 17-year-old Marcelo Agredo who was allegedly fatally shot by a police officer on April 28 in Cali, Colombia. Video from the incident shows Agredo appearing to kick a police officer sitting on a motorbike before the officer opens fire. A government agency is now investigating his death.

The United National Human Rights office told ABC News it received 22 reports of deaths in the protests since the start of the uprising, including 21 civilians and one police officer. The office said all cases are in the process of being verified.Local advocacy group Temblores reported 37 deaths in connection with demonstrations, 234 injured and 923 detained in the protests. headtopics.com

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Federico Rios/The New York Times via ReduxProtesters use plywood as shields in Bogota, Colombia, during demonstrations against the Colombian government, May 5, 2021.Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty ImagesDemonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against a tax reform bill launched by Colombian President Ivan Duque, in Bogota, April 28, 2021.

Diego Cuevas/Vizzor Image/Getty ImagesA demonstrator bangs a pot among traffic on the north highway of the city during the sixth day of the national strike, May 4, 2021, in Bogota, Colombia.Ana, a 34-year-old tourism sector employee in Bogota, who did not wish to disclose her last name for privacy reasons, told ABC News, “What is happening in Colombia is a massacre.”

“The government doesn’t want to listen to us and we have simply no choice,” she said. “I have been walking every day peacefully with friends. We can observe undercover cops ... they even tried to shoot us on Monday. I was not injured."“I was not a militant before. But we need money to live ... we need to go back to work ... and we are supposedly in a democracy,” she said.

MORE: Mother searches for son believed killed by Colombia soldiersLuis Robayo/AFP via Getty ImagesPeople line up to buy gasoline at a gas station during a fuel shortage in Cali, Colombia, May 4, 2021, following the clashes between demonstrators and riot police officers in the protests against the government's tax reform. headtopics.com

On Thursday, Colombia's government invited protest leaders to discuss the demands of the people.Presidential adviser Miguel Ceballos said the government would meet with the National Strike Committee, which represents various groups including indigenous people, unions, environmentalists and students, to discuss key demands of the people on Monday, according to

Blu Radio.The protests built on previous demonstrations against corruption and inequality in 2019 and against police violence last year. Many of those frustrations were exacerbated during the pandemic as Colombia suffered through waves of the virus that led to lockdowns that strained the economy.

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The tax plan aimed to raise $6.7 billion to pay the country's debts and maintain a basic income scheme for 3 million low-income people that started during the pandemic, The Associated Press reported. Read more: ABC News »

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Looks a lot like BLM , good luck with that nonsense Columbia!!!

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