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Colombian probing 142 cases of suspected police abuses during protests: Defence Minister

Bogota: The Colombian government is investigating 142 cases of police abuses during the ongoing nationwide protests, Defense Minister Diego Molano told Sputnik.

“In case of separate cases of illegal treatment, probes are opened. Within this period [of protests], 142 investigations have already been launched and some of them are linked to physical assaults and powers abuses,” Molano said.

The cases are being investigated by police, prosecutors and the General Prosecutor’s Office.

Workers’ strikes and public protests started in Colombia last month, with people walking out against the so-called Sustainable Solidarity Law, a now-shelved tax reform bill that trade unions warned would lead to at least 1.5 million workers having to pay new taxes.

According to Colombia’s human rights officials, about 50 people have died amid the protests, including one police officer, while nearly 600 have been injured. Hundreds have been detained. Demonstrators, as well as international institutions, have been drawing attention to the disproportionate use of force by the Colombian police.

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