Violent clashes between police and protesters in Colombia

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

Protesters and police clashed violently in the Colombian capital Bogota on Monday.

Protesters hurled stones at officers, while police used water cannons and tear gas.

In the south of the city, protesters threatened several bus drivers with knives and hijacked five buses, broadcaster Caracol reported.

Bogota’s Mayor Claudia Lopez, from the Green Alliance party, accused the leftist Colombia Humana party of inciting protesters to violence and causing chaos.

“Neither Bogota nor Colombia have earned this kind of destructive election campaign to win the presidency,” she wrote on Twitter. “Respect the citizens and public property.”

Colombia has been rocked by violent protests against its government for months.

Demonstrators have been blocking streets and there has been a brutal response from police to protesters.

At least two dozen people have died in riots so far.

The protests were initially against a controversial tax and health reform that President Ivan Duque has since been withdrawn. Now trade unionists, Indigenous people and students are calling for fundamental reforms in the country, which is plagued by violence, poverty and social inequality.

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