3 Colombia policemen issued arrest warrants after deaths of protesters

BOGOTÁ, Colombia (CNN) – Tensions remain high in Colombia after nine consecutive days of protests.

People took to the streets on Thursday to decry the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and police brutality.

The roots of this conflict run deep into the past, not just in Colombia, but across Latin America, and demonstrators and even government leaders themselves say major action is needed to address inequality and abuses.

On Thursday, the Colombian interior minister said that at least three policemen were issued arrest warrants for their alleged involvement in the death of three protesters. But when CNN asked him if he would welcome independent international bodies, such as the United Nations, to look and investigate the actions of the Colombian police – which is one of the key demands of the demonstrators who are taking part in this national strike – the Interior Minister refused to answer.

This is why it’s not just demonstrators, but government officials as well who are making bold calls for action to address the inequality that is fueling these protests.

CNN spoke on Thursday with Bogotá’s mayor, Claudia López, who made this call for action: “We all need to contribute to a national democratic agreement, a kind of New Deal, right? A kind of Marshall Plan. That’s what Colombia, and I will say Latin American countries need at this moment.”

Even though the fiscal reform that was originally sparked this outcry has been withdrawn, these protests show no sign of slowing down and this is a sign of how deep the unrest is for many in Colombia.

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