News Alerts

22 Nov 2019 | 04:23 AM UTC

Colombia: Rioting reported in Santander department November 21 /update 4

Colombia News Alert

Some rioting and looting breaks out in Santander department on November 21 during nationwide strike; further protests possible in the coming days

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/21/2019, 12:00 AM until 11/22/2019, 11:59 PM (America/Bogota). COUNTRY/REGION Caribbean coast, Bogotá, Cali, Bucaramanga (Santander department), Manizales, Popayan

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Event

Some instances of rioting and looting were reported in Santander department on the night (local time) of Thursday, November 21, during the nationwide strike. In Bucaramanga, some acts of vandalism by hooded individuals occurred and several stores were also looted. At least two ATMs were damaged and a metro station was painted. Other isolated acts of violence were also reported in Manizales (Caldas department). People threw stones at security cameras at the National University's La Nubia campus, where hooded people also clashed with security forces earlier in the day.

A curfew has been imposed in Cali from 19:00 (local time) on Thursday until 06:00 on Friday, November 22, following clashes between protesters and security forces. The mayor of Popayán (Cauca department) has also implemented an overnight curfew until 06:00 on Friday. In Bogotá, demonstrators blocked roads and vandalized buses before riot police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds. Over a million people are believed to have taken part in marches throughout the country on Thursday.

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

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 for the protests, allowing local authorities to implement curfews and restrict civil movements. Colombia's borders were also closed for 24 hours starting from 00:01 on Thursday.

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.

 

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