Colombian protests: Strike leaders present demands to government

Colombia deploys soldiers
© Chepa Beltran/LongVisual via ZUMA Wire/dpa

After more than two weeks of violent protests in Colombia, national strike leaders presented a list of demands to the country’s government on Sunday.

Among the demands are an end to military deployments to protests and the use of firearms by police as well as measures to end sexual violence against women by security forces.

They are also demanding the inclusion of UN and church representatives in talks with the government.

The two sides plan to meet again on Monday.

Since the strike was called at the end of April, there have been numerous protests in cities across the country, some of which turned into riots.

On Sunday, thousands of people took to the streets once again for mostly peaceful protests in the capital Bogota and other cities.

The government of conservative President Ivan Duque has denounced supply bottlenecks caused by protest roadblocks.

At least 42 people have died during the protests, according to the latest figures from the national ombudsman’s office.

The strike committee has counted at least 50 deaths and more than 500 missing people as of Sunday.

The country’s Defence Ministry says around 1,700 have been injured so far, including more than 900 security personnel.

The protests were initially against a controversial tax reform that has since been withdrawn. Most demonstrators have now turned to other issues, such as opposing a planned health care reform and advocating for the country’s fragile peace process.

The economy minister and foreign minister have both resigned as a result of the protests.

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