Serious situation in Buenaventura – Colombia: looting in the port area reported


Yesterday, May 19, serious public disorder events occurred in the municipality of Buenaventura, in Valle del Cauca – Colombia.

Looting and vandalism were reported in social networks, which generated the presence of the Colombian Mobile Anti-riot Squadron – ESMAD, in the most important port of the country. There are also reports of injuries.

Congressmen of the Democratic Center, mainly, denounced the acts of violence in this port area, where a group of people were attacking and looting some containers with goods and household goods. There were even reports of incidents of attacks on the warehouses where coffee ready for export is stored.

In other sectors of the city, violence and attacks to different businesses were also reported.

The Ombudsman’s Office commented on the situation: “Our Pacific Regional reports serious disturbances to public order in Buenaventura: looting at different points and clashes between people in the SENA sector, which is completely blocked. We make an urgent call for calm. Violence is not compatible with peaceful protest. We call for dialogue and the non-use of de facto means,” said the entity.

Likewise, the mayor of the city, Victor Hugo Vidal Piedrahita, and the Bishop of the Diocese released a video calling for calm to the population: “There is much sadness because after 21 days, in which Buenaventura had calm and exemplary behavior, today we find acts of violence in our territory” said the mayor. “We call on the bonaverenses, to all, to work together to regain calm in the territory, the first thing that has to be protected is life”.

Looting in the port

The representative of the Democratic Center for Valle del Cauca, Christian Garcés, pointed out that “if the vandals finish with the logistic activity of the most important port of Colombia, Buenaventura disappears from the economic map of the country and the world, worsening unemployment, lack of opportunities and violence. Public forces control the situation at this moment”.

In the same sense, Senator Paloma Valencia, denounced the acts of vandalism and looting of merchants in Buenaventura, through her social networks.

Senator Gabriel Velasco, who recently resigned as spokesman of the Democratic Center due to the crisis in Valle del Cauca, published a video in which he assured that “looting is reported in Buenaventura. They disguise criminality behind days of protest. Those responsible for these lootings must be prosecuted. The country must recover authority”.

The senator of the Government party, Alejandro Corrales, very close to the coffee growers of the country, stated that “the vandals entered the container terminal TCBUEN in Buenaventura, looted coffee warehouses and seriously affected the infrastructure. In the face of chaos and crime: authority, authority and authority”.

The president of ANDI, Bruce Mac Master, also made a statement on the serious events that have occurred throughout the day in Buenaventura. “I am informed that dozens of vandals have just entered the TCBUEN port in Buenaventura, they are looting the coffee warehouses and are causing irreparable damage. We must stop the vandalism and blockades! The organizers of the strike should be the first to make this call.”

On the other hand, other profiles on social networks have denounced that the ESMAD arrived at the place and, in the midst of confrontations between the public forces and the citizens, several civilians were injured.

In social networks, several users have stated that these violent events occurred because peaceful protests were taking place and ESMAD arrived to violently repress the events.

Other people have denounced that individuals from outside the demonstrations have infiltrated the marches to take advantage and generate disorder and vandalism in an area near the city’s SENA.

Social and poverty problems

It is worth mentioning that the port is experiencing serious problems of unemployment, poverty and crime, as shown by different studies and official data.

According to a survey published by “Buenaventura cómo vamos” in mid-February, 80% of the people consider that it is not at all easy to get a job in the city, a situation that remains in 2019.

Similarly, insecurity is also a major problem for people in the region. The survey reveals that the most serious problems for the people consulted are drug addiction, street robberies and gangs.

In 2020, six out of ten people considered the possibility of a crime being punished to be low.

Source Semana

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