In a statement published on Sunday, she called for an end to all forms of violence, including sabotage, and said that only dialogue can solve the demands of the various groups participating in the current national strike.
Her office has received reports indicating that 14 people have been killed and 98 injured, since May 28, 54 of them with firearms, during the violence that erupted in the city as demonstrations commemorated the month of the strike.
Ms. Bachelet’s team also received reports of armed men, including an off-duty judicial police officer, who opened fire on protesters and journalists covering the protests as well as bystanders. The Judicial Police officer in question was beaten to death by a crowd.
According to some reports, individuals in parts of the city shot the protesters in the presence of police officers, the High Commissioner said.
The UN Human Rights Office in Colombia received information about at least 30 people arrested on May 28. Ms. Bachelet stated that “a fair trial and due process rights for detainees need to be guaranteed.”
Addressing concerns about the whereabouts of some of the detainees, Bachelet also emphasized the need to implement all necessary measures, in line with international human rights standards, to prevent disappearances.
Dialogue is the only way
For the High Commissioner, these events are particularly worrying given “the progress that has been made to resolve the social unrest that erupted a month ago after the start of a nationwide strike against many of the government’s social and economic policies.”
“It is imperative that all those who are said to be involved in causing the injury or death, including state officials, are subject to prompt, effective, independent, impartial and transparent investigations, and that those responsible be held accountable,” she stressed.
Ms. Bachelet stressed that only dialogue can solve the demands of the different groups, whether those participating in the demonstrations or those opposing the protests.
She stressed, “I welcome the commitment expressed by many actors, in Cali, and at the national level, to finding a negotiated and peaceful solution to social unrest through talks.”
United Nations verification mission also involved
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Maceo, also expressed his grave concern about the current situation in the country and said that he is “following it closely.”
In a statement released on Saturday evening, Mr. Maceo said that the dangerous events in Cali and other parts of the country demonstrate the need to “strengthen dialogue as an essential tool for conflict resolution.”
Head of United Nations verification mission He called on all actors to prevent and end violence, and to do everything possible to reduce tensions and avoid escalation.
“In any circumstance, even the most difficult, we must encourage dialogue. I stress that the consolidation of a stable and lasting peace in the country is my greatest wish, and I am sure that all Colombians are.”
Mr. Maceo reminded that the United Nations remains ready to facilitate and support tracks of a peaceful solution and agreement.