Colombian Authorities Declare Curfew In Bogota Amid Fresh Wave Of Violent Protests

MEXICO CITY (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 23rd November, 2019) Violent protests, that began on Thursday during nationwide demonstrations and strikes in Colombia, resumed on Friday in the country's capital, prompting the authorities to declare curfew in Bogota.

"The curfew is declared in the municipalities of Bosa, Kennedy and Ciudad Bolivar beginning on 09:00 p.m. on Friday to 05:00 a.m. on Saturday [02:00 to 10:00 GMT on Saturday]," mayor Enrique Penalosa said live on City tv on Friday.

The mayor's office subsequently said the curfew would be in place across the whole capital.

Moreover, the bus rapid transit system has been stopped amid the unrest.

The mayor's office said that 230 people had been detained for disorderly behavior, looting and vandalism since Thursday.

The authorities believe that groups of aggressive rioters, so-called encapuchados, wearing masks and hooded tops, are behind the unrest.

At the same time, media reported about the excessive use of power by security officers against participants of casserole protests, where demonstrators bang pots and other utensils as a sign of their efforts to attract the authorities' attention to certain issues.

According to official figures, three people had died and 273 people, including 148 servicemen and three police officers, sustained injuries in the violence.

The unrest gripped Colombia's large cities. On Thursday, more than 200,000 people participated in a national day of protests and strikes. The demonstrations were originally planned to be held as a peaceful march involving students and professors. However, the opposition announced its plans to carry out a general strike on the same day.

The demonstrators are protesting against the authorities' inaction in fighting crime and improving the economic situation in the country.

Meanwhile, the authorities have warned that the protest might provoke unrest, which was a case in several other Latin American countries, where riots led to a large number of casualties and significant material damage.

Ahead of the protest day, the Colombian migration service closed the country's border. Moreover, the government tightened security measures by introducing a ban on carrying weapons and restricting sales and consumption of alcohol, and announced the possibility of introducing a curfew.