As Colombia continues to be rocked by large-scale anti-government protests and strikes, a police station was destroyed by rioters overnight.
The building, located in the city of Madrid in the central Cundinamarca region, was attacked by a mob of around 30 people on Monday night.
The officers retreated after what the media described as a siege, which lasted for more than five hours. The rioters erected barricades and set patrol motorcycles on fire before torching the police outpost, the Infobae news website reported.
According to Semana magazine, four officers and three civilians were injured. However, the Madrid mayor’s office released a statement saying that 14 people had been injured and several vehicles destroyed. The officials said ambulances had been vandalized and the life of health workers threatened.
“Violence and destruction cannot be normalized. Who doesn’t categorically reject violence is legitimizing it,” the mayor’s office said.
Rioting and clashes with police occurred on Monday in other cities, including the country’s capital, Bogota, where eight buses were set alight and six people detained. In Facatativa, a court building was set on fire for the second time since May.
#NoticiasW | En videos quedó registrado el momento en el que un uniformado del Esmad de la Policía agrede a un defensor de derechos humanos en la zona donde se registraban enfrentamientos en Popayán.También hay denuncias de ataques contra policías. Video: Cortesía Tiempo Real pic.twitter.com/tlzp54jESr
— W Radio Colombia (@WRadioColombia) June 29, 2021
In Barranquilla, a group of protesters toppled a nearly 130-year-old statue of Christopher Columbus.
Monday marked two months since massive protests and strikes against the policies of President Ivan Duque began. The unrest was triggered by a now-withdrawn tax reform proposal.
More than 60 people have died since the start of the unrest, according to Colombia’s ombudsman.
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