Colombia Justice Palace ablaze in protests

·1-min read

The Palace of Justice in Colombia's southwest city of Tulu is on fire, after a day of protests that ended in severe disturbances and violence.

According to reports and videos released by the police on Tuesday, the flames have destroyed a good part of the roof and the second floor of the judicial institution of this city, located in the department of Valle del Cauca, 94 kilometres north of Cali, the regional capital.

"Attacks like those of tonight in Tulu stop being vandalism and become terrorist acts. Peaceful protest is legitimate, violence is a crime," said Colombian Justice Minister Wilson Ruiz, condemning the attack.

It is still unknown what or who started the blaze.

Tulu on Tuesday saw clashes between the public forces and groups of protesters, and episodes of urban chaos, in a new day of protests that have taken place throughout the country since April 28.

There have also been the greatest acts of violence, reports of looting and destruction of urban real estate by some people, and excessive use of force by the police.

Cali and the Valle del Cauca region and neighbouring Cauca, greatly affected by violence from armed groups and poverty and unemployment, have been the epicentre of much of this social unrest.

The protests have so far claimed the lives of 42 people, according to the Ombudsman's Office, while social organisations such as Temblores and the Institute for Development and Peace Studies say that 43 people have been killed due to alleged police violence.

Both protesters and a female police official have also denounced sexual abuse while authorities are still searching for 129 people who were reported missing.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting