Local group to demonstrate in support of victims of violence in Colombia at Nelson Atkins

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People light candles during a vigil in honor of Nicolas Guerrero who died after being shot during a national strike against tax reform in Cali, Colombia, Monday, May 3, 2021. Guerrero was shot during clashes with police on Sunday and died this morning. Colombia’s President Ivan Duque withdrew the government-proposed tax reform on Sunday. (AP Photo/Andres Gonzalez)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — People will gather at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art for a candlelight vigil in solidarity with the victims of the violence that broke out in Colombia over the last week.

A Facebook post shared to the Colombians in Kansas City Facebook page says:

Distant, but not absent!

Candlelight vigil for all the people who have been killed and have disappeared at the hands of the state in Colombia during the protests the last few days.

May 4

Nelson Atkin Museum

8 p.m. (Bring candles)

Facebook post

The vigil is in response to the protests in Colombia where at least 17 have been killed since thousands of Colombians took to the streets a week ago in opposition of a tax reform proposed by former Minister of Finance and Public Credit Alberto Carrasquilla.

Following the unrest, Carrasquilla resigned and President Ivan Duque withdrew the tax reform proposal.

However, protests and violence continued as protestors continued to bring to light issues of income inequality, poverty, corruption, police brutality, police sexual abuse and pensions.

Viral videos on social media have show videos of protestors being fired on and beat by armed riot police, Armed Anti-Disturbance Squadron (ESMAD), as well as protestors attacking armed police sent to major cities by the federal government.

The United Nations Human Rights office has denounced the violence specifically in the city of Cali, Colombia.

“Given the extremely tense situation, with soldiers as well as police officers deployed to police the protest, we call for calm,” Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Marta Hurtado said. “We remind the State authorities of their responsibility to protect human rights, including the right to life and security of person, and to facilitate the exercise of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.”

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