Cali is the cockpit of chaos as Colombia protests threaten to spiral out of control
Published in The Guardian
With Katherine Aguirre
On a recent evening, Andrés pulled on his gas mask and helmet and headed for the barricades at the entrance to his rundown neighbourhood in Cali, a city which has become the center of Colombia’s anti-government protests.
But as he approached the roadblock of rocks, rubble and barbed wire, he saw a motorcycle speeding towards him. In an attempt to turn the vehicle back, another demonstrator shone a laser pen in the driver’s eyes.
“Armed civilians fighting against each other is one of the most serious manifestations of the crisis so far,” said Katherine Aguirre, a security expert at the Igarape Institute in Cali. “The state needs to find innovative ways to solve the crisis, both maintaining public order while pursuing dialogue at the local level.”Read more