Although the commemoration of the start of the national strike, against the government of President Iván Duque, was carried out calmly in much of Colombia, In Bucaramanga there were some clashes between the Police and some protesters who, apparently, violently entered the Industrial University of Santander (UIS) in that city on Friday night.
“Once acts of vandalism occur against the infrastructure of the municipality, the use of proportional force and with respect for Human Rights is authorized in the PMU (Unified Command Post). Our Esmad (Mobile Riot Squad) was the target of blunt objects, Molotov cocktails and other types of devices. One of our men was injured in one of his hands and is being treated at a city hospital”, reported Colonel José Óscar Jaramillo, deputy commander of the Bucaramanga Police.
The clashes between the protesters and the uniformed men began at 6 in the afternoon and finally dissipated late at night.
According to officials from the mayor’s office of the Santander capital, the intervention of the Public Force became necessary after the facilities of the higher education institution were taken over.
“Throughout the afternoon, in the company of the Police, Personería, Attorney and Ombudsman, the scheduled protests were monitored through the PMU, where approximately being 6 in the afternoon some hooded men start acts of vandalism and violence against the public infrastructure of our municipality and its cameras. That is why it was decided to authorize proportional use to restore public order”, pointed out Melissa Franco, Secretary of the Interior of Bucaramanga.
The official added that in that city the right to protest has always been guaranteed, but that when situations of disturbances occur, intervention must be made so that the rights of people who are not part of or do not participate in the demonstrations can also be safeguarded.
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