Protesters Burn Police Station in Colombia after Teenage Protester Dies in Detention

Protesters have set fire to a police facility in Popayan, Colombia after news broke out that an incarcerated 17-year-old was declared to have died by suicide while in detention.

Protesters also damaged and looted the Prosecutor’s Office and the Institute of Legal Medicine while public telecommunications company vehicles have been burned. 

“What happened in Popayán last night is not social protest, it is not peaceful mobilization, what happened in the city was a violent action against the Public Force and citizens. These were acts planned and financed against the Payaneses, the Caucanos, and against Colombia ”, said the Colombian Ministry of Defense.

To restore order, the government deployed six additional sections of the Esmad and three platoons of the National Army and declared the attacks as terrorist activities. 

“The attack on the Immediate Reaction Unit of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Institute of Legal Medicine must be classified as a terrorist act, nothing justifies taking justice into one’s own hands and for a group of criminals to destroy the institution.

Colombian Minister of Defense Diego Molano said the death of Meléndez needs clarification but condemned the destruction of property. 

Since the protests started in Colombia, 42 people have died while 168 people have been reported missing.

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