At least 14 people have died in protests against tax reform since April 28 in several cities in Colombia
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is deeply alarmed by the violence in Cali, Colombia, the police opened fire on protesters protesting tax reforms in the country.
Speaking to journalists in Geneva, spokeswoman Marta Hurtado said the Office is working to verify the exact number of victims. "We want to know how these terrible incidents happened," she said.
Since the beginning of the demonstrations, the UN Human Rights Office has received reports of at least 14 deaths during protests in different parts of Colombia. Among them is a policeman.
Human rights defenders also reported harassment and threats. Hurtado said that the Office feels "deep shock" and sends its solidarity to the wounded and their families after the wave of violence in Colombia's protests.
On Monday (2), the president announced the withdrawal of the Congressional tax reform project, but the protests that started on April 28 continue. Most of the protests so far have been peaceful.
Soldiers and police were deployed to patrol the protest. The UN Office is asking for calm. The spokeswoman reminded state officials of their responsibility to protect human rights, including the right to life and personal security. The forces must also facilitate the exercise of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.
Under international law, police officers must obey the principles of legality, precaution, necessity and proportionality when policing demonstrations. Firearms only come in as a measure of last resort against an imminent threat to life or serious injury.