Police and security forces have over the past days killed at least 19 people as a government crackdown on protests continues, drawing fire from the United Nation human rights watchdog.
The U.N. Hugh Commissioner on Human Rights said in a statement Tuesday that it was deeply alarmed over the violence.
There have been unconfirmed witness accounts that police have allegedly shot protesters at point-blank range while also resorting to use excessive force to disperse the crowds.
“We are deeply alarmed at developments in Cali overnight, where police opened fire on demonstrators, and a number of people were killed and injured,” said a U.N. human rights spokesperson.
The protests began last week after the government of President Iván Duque proposed a tax overhaul aimed at plugging the country’s debt caused in most part by the pandemic. Duque has since withdrawn the proposal but demonstrations have continued.