As Colombian riot police attacked people with disabilities protesting in the country's capital today, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that he was "concerned" about recent events in Venezuela, calling for "sanity" in a Twitter post.
Referring to comments made by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro about augmenting the National Bolivarian Militias, Santos added to Monday's statement released by the Colombian foreign ministry made by 11 Latin American countries where they called for avoiding “any violent action” against opposition demonstrations. The declaration was sponsored by nations who endorsed a motion against Venezuela at a controversial meeting at the Organization of American States.
Maduro said on Monday while commemorating the seventh anniversary of the militias that they should be augmented to defend the country from coup plots and external intervention.
Meanwhile, the Colombian national riot police lobbed tear gas against people with disabilities who were protesting in Bogota's Bolivar Plaza against the mayor's proposed reductions in bus subsidies and cuts in food stamps for the community.
Children, people in wheelchairs and people with visual and hearing disabilities were affected by the police repression. Bogota's Mayor Enrique Peñalosa lamented on his Twitter account what happened, saying it was "accidental" and that it will be investigated.
However, Progressive Party Representative Hollman Morris denounced in a Twitter post "the brutality of Esmad (the national riot police) against protesters" and published a video showing that what happened "was not an accident" as Peñalosa asserted.