Curfew imposed after anti-government protests turn violent in Bogota

A curfew has been imposed in Bogota following a second day of anti-government protests in the Colombian capital.

About three people who were apart of the demonstrations in the Valle del Cauca, near Bogota, were killed according to a statement issued on Friday by Colombia’s Minister of Defense Carlos Holmes Trujillo.

The nationwide protests and a national strike organized by union workers and social movements began on Thursday. The government closed the state’s borders in anticipation of the strike, and deployed tear gas against the protesters in Bogota.

President Ivan Duque, who came into office in August 2018 faces widespread discontent over rising unemployment, economic reforms and a deteriorating security situation.

The curfew first went into effect at 8 p.m. on Friday in the districts of Kennedy, Ciudad Bolivar and Bosa. It was then extended across the entire city of Bogota starting at 9 p.m.

Bogota Mayor Enrique Peñalosa blamed the necessity of the curfew on looters.

According to a statement posted on the mayor’s official website, the curfew was due to be in effect until 6 a.m. local time on Saturday.

In a separate incident, three police officers were killed and seven more injured on Friday after a bomb exploded in a truck outside a police station in Santander de Quilichao, in Colombia’s southwestern Cauca state, Trujillo said.

The explosion and the demonstrations are supposedly unrelated, local officials said.