Intense scene as police and protesters in Colombia clash amid controversial tax reform

A new day of protests took place this Thursday (April 29) in Colombia, especially in Cali, the main city in the southwest of the country, on the second day of the National Strike against the government's tax reform. This Friday, the call to demonstrate continues and it is expected that from 2 p.m. (local time) people start to take to the streets, according to local media. The Government of Colombia deployed more police and army troops in Cali, the capital of the Valle del Cauca department, "in an effort to put an end to the riots and acts of vandalism, amid protests against a tax reform project. to raise taxes, "the Defense Minister reported today. According to the national police, yesterday "there were fewer protesters than the previous day's protest," which according to the authorities, "left two dead, 26 arrested and 44 policemen injured, in addition to material damage due to vandalism." The figure differs from the Cali Security Secretariat, which spoke of "at least four, five people who lost their lives." "Several people were reported dead. They are investigating whether they are directly related to the events of the mobilizations. There are at least four, five people who lost their lives and Public Health is in the task of giving us a specific report of the people who died, for what causes, "said Carlos Rojas, Secretary of Security of that city to local media. For their part, authorities from the Cali Mayor's Office reported in a statement that yesterday the city "again suffered the attacks of violent people who attacked and tried to attack businesses, so it became necessary for the Police Anti-riot Squad (Esmad) go places." According to local media, three ambulances and five police stations were vandalized, where the protesters allegedly tried to enter irregularly. The demonstrations were prohibited on Tuesday night by a court in Cundinamarca, whose main city is Bogotá, but the National Unemployment Committee, organizer of the marches, remarked through its social networks that "the right to protest is not subject to permission or authorization. prior and cannot be suspended even in a state of emergency”. At least 23 cities throughout the country had marches and rallies, the most important being in Cali, Bogotá, Medellín, Barranquilla and Cartagena. For his part, Francisco Maltés, president of the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT), told local media that "in cities where it is possible, where there is no confinement, the day of May 1, Day of the Worker with new demonstrations". The protesters focus their claims on tax reform and the increase in income tax for those who earn 2.4 million pesos a month (about USD 660).