Officials have extended an alcohol ban and increased security measures in many Colombian cities to ensure public safety for the World Cup match between Colombia and Japan.
Bogota’s Mayor Gustavo Petro said that while the measures, also in place for the Cote D’Ivore game, might not be popular, his so-called “dry law” decree has been effective. He was quoted in the Wall Street Journal saying that for the duration of the last dry law, no murders had been reported in the capital.
The measures for Tuesday’s game against Japan will be just as tough, hoping to avoid a similar situation to Colombia’s 3-0 win over Greece on June 14, when drunken celebrations and violence erupted, leaving at least nine people dead in Bogota.
“There was not just partying, but a problem of security. Around 3,000 fights, 1,500 announced via 123 [police phone number], that resulted in over 100 injured with knives, 15 with firearms, 9 dead, traffic accidents, roadblocks,” stated Bogota’s mayor, Gustavo Petro, in Colombia’s Semana news magazine, in the wake of the Greece-Colombia match.
Restrictions across Colombia
In Bogota, the sale of alcohol is prohibited from 6AM Tuesday to 6AM Wednesday in an effort to quell alcohol-fueled violence, reported Caracol Radio.
But, that’s not the end of the restrictions. In Cucuta, a city in Colombia’s northeastern state of Santander, authorities have established a curfew for minors that extends from 1PM Tuesday until 6AM the following day.
Many cities have also taken the security measure of prohibiting passengers on motorbikes in a bid to avoid accidents and crime.
In Pereira, the capital of Risaralda state in Colombia’s coffee region, local government has dismantled a big screen in the main square due to scuffles that broke out between spectators during the previous match between Colombia and Ivory Coast.
While most cities have put in some control measures, the authorities of Manziales in the central state of Caldas, have reacted to the good behavior of its citizens during previous matches by setting up a space for bands and DJs to play, according to Caracol Radio.
- Ley seca y seguridad drástica para el partido Colombia – Japón (Caracol Radio)
- Distrito Declara Ley Seca Hasta El Viernes En Bogotá (Semana)
- Bogota Alcohol Ban Puts Damper on Colombia’s Party (Wall Street Journal)