Colombia Protests Sharpen Cali's Class War


Colombia protests sharpen Cali's class war

Cali, Colombia, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 22nd Jun, 2021 ) :In a rich neighborhood in the Colombian city of Cali, residents standing next to police fire their weapons at protesters.

They believe they are protecting their possessions from the mob.

After 50 days of social protests against the government of right-wing President Ivan Duque, Cali's class divide seems to be getting wider.

The southeastern city, well-known for its social inequality and racism, has been the epicenter of violent unrest during the protests.

On May 28, a mob from some of the nearby slums turned up in the affluent Ciudad Jardin neighborhood and tried to burn down the police station.

Residents responded with gunfire.

"It was like a civil war with civilians worried for their homes and property, and the police on one side, and on the other side protesters.

.. wanting to impose this anarchy and this chaos in our neighborhood," publicist Andres Escobar, 30, told AFP.

Escobar admits he fired his automatic pistol a few times "in the air" that day. It turned out to be the deadliest day of protests in the city, with 13 people killed.

That day was the most blatant example of "a conflict... marked by differences in class, differences in race and differences in ethnicity" that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, said Luis Castillo, a sociologist at the University of Valle in Cali.

With its luxury boutiques, mansions with swimming pools and palm tree-lined avenues, Ciudad Jardin resembles a mini Beverly Hills.

Almost none of the residents took to the streets to protest against Duque.

They also haven't protested against the widely condemned police brutality unleashed on demonstrators.