UPDATE - Over 30 People Killed Within Week Of Colombian Protests - Institute

MEXICO CITY (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 06th May, 2021) At least 31 people have died, 1,220 more have been injured and 87 have gone missing within a week of protests in Colombia, the Institute for Development and Peace Studies said.

"31 people have been killed between April 28 and May 4, more than three cases are to be confirmed," the institute said on late Wednesday.

According to the institute, the protests left 1,220 protesters injured, with 18 of them having sustained eye traumas. In nine cases, police officers resorted to sexual harassment toward women.

The largest number of fatalities - 24 ones - has been registered in the western city of Cali.

On late Wednesday, a group of radical protesters tried to rush into the Congress building when lawmakers gathered to discuss the situation around the rallies.

"Several minutes ago, we had to evacuate the Congress building to ensure safety as some protesters tried to rush inside. Let us not allow violence to drown out the protest!" lawmaker Mauricio Toro wrote on his Twitter page.

The politician called on the protesters to keep restraint and stressed that the Congress was working to protect democracy and the people's right for peaceful protest.

The security forces have reportedly managed to prevent the protesters from entering the legislature.

The rallies in Colombia against an increase in gas prices and utility bills as part of state-proposed tax reform have been underway since last week. Even though President Ivan Duque called the reform off on Sunday, protesters have continued to protest, calling for a nationwide strike on May 5.

In addition to the cancellation of the tax reform, labor and student organizations, are now demanding a review of the sanitary emergency and health care reform, the dissolution of the Esmad riot police, demilitarization of cities and punishing those responsible for killing protesters.