Colombia expels German who took part in anti-govt protests

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Bogota (AFP)

Colombian immigration authorities said Tuesday they had expelled a German woman who took part in demonstrations against the government of President Ivan Duque.

Rebecca Sproesser "was carrying out activities that had nothing to do with her status as a tourist, and which could affect the civil order and peace," said the immigration authorities in a statement justifying "the decision to expel her."

Sproesser regularly uploaded photos and video of demonstrations to her social media networks, in which she met with members on what she called the "front line" of protests in the southwestern city of Cali.

On Friday, she said on Facebook she had been the victim of an attack in the city, which has been the epicenter of anti-government protests that left more than 60 dead in three months.

Sproesser said the assailant "did not stop shooting until his gun ran out of bullets" and said a friend who protected her suffered 13 bullet wounds, "three of them in the head and several in the chest," while she herself suffered "grazes from the projectiles."

No officials have so far confirmed the attack, but the German ambassador, Peter Ptassek, said on Twitter he was following the news "with concern."

The government sparked popular discontent on April 28 over its proposal to raise taxes in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the project was shelved, protests continued and the crackdown on protesters fueled further unrest.