BOISE, Idaho — Amid massive, deadly protests in Colombia, locals gathered outside the statehouse in Boise on Wednesday to raise awareness and stand united against violence.
Several Colombians in the Treasure Valley held signs and raised their voices to show support for the people of Colombia.
“There is a lot of violence, a lot of abuse from the power against the people. All the people that have been marching in Colombia, they are being attacked by police,” said Daniela Brawley, one of the local demonstrators.
The Colombian protests started on April 28 after a proposal to increase taxes on some public services and necessity items. For the past seven days, thousands have marched through the streets of Cali and Bogotá, protesting against the proposed tax increase.
Todos debemos rechazar a los violentos. Organizaciones criminales se esconden detrás de legítima protesta. Por eso, ofrecemos recompensa de $10 millones, activamos línea 3232729668 de denuncia y Grupo Especial contra el Vandalismo y Delitos para ir tras dinamizadores de violencia pic.twitter.com/TDNMq4NjRd— Iván Duque 🇨🇴 (@IvanDuque) May 5, 2021
Colombian President Iván Duque withdrew the proposal, but the protests continued to combat police brutality. At least 24 deaths are being reported and more than 80 people are missing.
On Tuesday, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner posted on social media it was ‘deeply alarmed’ about the violent protest in Cali.
Oscar Noguera and his family attended the local demonstration. He tells Idaho News 6 it's devastating to see the current violence happening in his native home.
“For the multiple deaths that have been generated and (We’re) worried for our family members because the majority of them are over there,” Noguera said in Spanish.
Local Colombians plan to gather outside of the Capitol once more on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to continue to shine a light on the issue.
“We from the distance can’t be there and physically support our families and help them with all of this, but we can share,” Brawley said. “Social media is extremely powerful get to the human rights people, share and be the loudest we can so the world can hear, and the politics in the country can change and do something for the people.”