Southwestern Colombia is deeply troubled by protests these days; in Villarica, two Indian protest participants were fatally shot in a clash with the police. The two men were apparently shot by the police force, but they do not accept the accusations.
These protests were initiated in the second largest city of Colombia, called Cali, and they aim to obtain more land and more funds for the 1.3 million Indians living on Colombian territory.
The circumstances of the protesters’ death are still not clear; the government forces declare they had nothing to do with it, and that they were merely defending themselves from the handmade grenades the protesters were throwing at them. The crowd, of course, blames the authorities.
The country’s President, Alvaro Uribe, comes to back up the riot police officials, and says the security forces have not used lethal forces against the protesters, but the emergency room doctors working in nearby hospitals declare otherwise. They have treated both police officers and demonstrators of gunshot and shrapnel wounds.
The first demonstrations took place on the 10th of October, and until this moment, four people have been killed and almost 130 protesters and 70 security force members have suffered injuries.
This post was written by Dana Ciucalau on October 22, 2008
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