Colombians continue protest, banging pots and pans at night
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Several thousand Colombians continued their protest against President Iván Duque Saturday by banging pots and pans late into the evening in the latest show of rejection against his conservative government.
Frustrated citizens gathered in capital city Bogota – including outside an unofficial residence of the unpopular leader – to protest by chanting, dancing and holding up signs decrying a range of social and economic woes.
“Get out Duque!” some cried. “No violence!” yelled others.
The evening protests capped a day of smaller demonstrations that come on the heels of one of the largest marches in Colombia’s recent history.
Authorities are maintaining a heightened police presence amidst scattered unrest in the aftermath of a mass protest that drew about 250,000 to the streets Thursday. Military leaders say 7,000 troops remain dispersed around Bogota.
Duque is hoping to quell the protests with a national dialogue set to begin Sunday when he holds a meeting with mayors and governors.
“Throughout the week we’ll be meeting with different social sectors,” he said on Twitter.
The demonstrations rocking Colombia come as a tide of unrest grips much of Latin America, with massive protests in countries including Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador. Protesters are clamoring against a wide range of issues, including economic inequality, corruption and political leaders who have lost their support.
“It’s the sum of various complaints,” Patricia Muñoz Yi, a professor at the Pontifical Xavieran University in Bogota.
Earlier Saturday, a crowd of several hundred was dispersed with tear gas and a teenage protester seriously injured. Duque said he was ordering an urgent investigation to determine who was responsible for the young man’s injuries.
“Our solidarity with his family,” Duque said.