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22 Nov 2019 | 07:46 PM UTC

Colombia: Nationwide protests continue November 22 /update 6

Officials order curfews in Bogotá and Cali following another day of nationwide protests on November 22; further demonstrations expected

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transportation
COL

Event

Demonstrations continued across Colombia on Friday, November 22, with clashes between protesters and security forces reported in Cali and Bogotá. Shops and homes were reportedly looted in southern parts of Bogotá throughout the day. Protesters also blocked the main highway north of the city and forced TransMilenio to close multiple stations on Friday afternoon (local time). Security forces used tear gas to disperse crowds gathered at Bolivar Square and a heavy police presence remains deployed in the capital as of Friday night. A curfew is in effect in Bogotá from 21:00 until 06:00 on Saturday, November 23. However, it is unclear if the crowds will disperse despite the curfew order. Officials also declared overnight curfews in Cali and Zipaquirá on Friday.

President Ivan Duque announced on Friday that a national dialogue will be held on Monday, November 25, to discuss reforms and to address the grievances of the protesters. According to media reports, the protest organizers will also meet on Monday to plan further actions. Additional demonstrations are possible over the coming days. A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of all protests. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.

Context

At least three people have been killed and another 272 wounded after the nationwide strike was held on Thursday, November 21. Several unions and civil society groups organized the nationwide strike and rallies on November 21 to protest the policies of President Ivan Duque’s administration. Heightened security measures were approved across Colombia in anticipation of the protests, allowing local authorities to implement curfews and restrict civil movements.

Advice

Individuals in Colombia are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings due to potential violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.