Colombian police have denied that officers were ordered to fire at demonstrators, after 13 people were reportedly killed in protests against police brutality.
"No [police] general ... would be able to give orders to fire at another citizen," police sub-director Gustavo Moreno said on television.
He made the comment as demonstrations went into their third day, with incidents reported in Bogota, Medellin and Barranquilla.
The protests earlier included attacks on dozens of police posts, many of which were set on fire, on buses, banks and shops, as well as heavy clashes with police.
Several media outlets put the death toll at 13. The government said more than 400 civilians and police officers were injured.
The fatalities included passers-by hit by stray bullets. Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez said dozens of people had been wounded by gunfire, and accused police of using firearms indiscriminately and without authorisation.
The unrest was sparked by the publication of a video in which two police officers were seen pinning law student Javier Ordonez to the ground and shocking him with a stun pistol in Bogota.
The 46-year-old, whom the officers accused of violating coronavirus restrictions, was then taken to a police post and allegedly beaten, leading to his death.
Protests continued despite apologies offered by the government and the police force.
"The police force asks for forgiveness for any violation of the law," Defence Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said on television.
Police sub-director Moreno also apologised to Ordonez's family. "We, the Colombian police, are there to protect life," he said.
The two officers accused of causing Ordonez's death have been relieved of their duties. Trujillo announced the suspension of five other officers who could have been involved in the case, to prevent them from obstructing the investigation.
The minister pledged a reform of the police force.
But he also said violence by protesters was not spontaneous, attributing it to "systematic and organised action" and attempts to tarnish the reputation of police.