EU calls for calm in Colombia protests, condemns deaths

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Demonstrators clash with members of the security forces during a protest against what they say was police brutality exerted in recent protests against President Ivan Duque's government's tax reform in Cali, Colombia May 3, 2021. REUTERS/Juan Bautista

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BRUSSELS, May 4 (Reuters) - The European Union called on Colombia’s security forces to avoid a heavy-handed response to street protests over a proposed tax reform, calling for calm and condemning the violence that led to deaths.

"We condemn the deaths of all the people who have been killed during those protests, the reports are saying at least 19 victims and also one police officer," an EU spokesman told a regular briefing.

"It is really a priority to stop the escalation of this violence and to avoid any disproportionate use of force by security forces," the spokesman said.

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Reporting by Robin Emmott

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