EU calls for calm in Colombia protests, condemns deaths

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Trucks are seen blocking a road during a protest against the tax reform of President Ivan Duque's government in Zipaquira

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union called on Colombia's security forces to avoid a heavy-handed response to street protests over a proposed tax reform, calling for calm and condemning the violence that led to deaths.

"We condemn the deaths of all the people who have been killed during those protests, the reports are saying at least 19 victims and also one police officer," an EU spokesman told a regular briefing.

"It is really a priority to stop the escalation of this violence and to avoid any disproportionate use of force by security forces," the spokesman said.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott)