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Colombia to reform defence, police systems amid protests

Colombian President Ivan Duque announced the modernisation of the Defence Ministry and a comprehensive reform of the National Police amid the violent nationwide protests.

Updated Jun 07, 2021 06:45 AM

Colombia to reform defence, police systems amid protests

The measures include very strict regulations to limit the commercialisation, carrying and use of weapons, as well as a new system for receiving, processing, and monitoring complaints and reports, Xinhua news agency quoted Duque as saying on Sunday.

The President also emphasised the professionalisation of and supervision for the police with the creation of a police university as well as the acceleration of the use of body cameras when officers are on patrol.

Duque said that this transformation includes an emphasis on the protection of and respect for the rights of Colombian citizens.

The reform has been presented in the midst of a national strike which began on April 28 due to a proposed tax hike that was later rescinded.

At least 59 people have died in connection with the demonstrations, according to the national ombudsman's office.

Opposition to a health reform, which has also been scrapped, and advocacy for the fragile peace process were then some of the new issues that brought people out onto the streets.

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