Hackers took control of several state entities’ social media accounts on Tuesday, in the latest escalation of Colombia’s ongoing anti-government protests.
The hackers were able to take control of the Twitter accounts of the judicial branch and the international El Dorado airport in the capital Bogota.
The hackers showed a sense of humor on the El Dorado account, which announced that President Ivan Duque was banned from the airport for corruption.
On the account of the judicial branch, however, the hackers made unequivocal death threats to the family of the president, who has three children.
Colombia’s prosecution said that it had opened an investigation into the death threats.
According to Caracol Radio, the ICT Ministry sent out an alert to government workers not to open any suspicious emails or click on links that could be used by hackers to get access to state websites, social media accounts or databases.
The hacking of the social media accounts is the first attack on the state since the beginning of massive anti-government protests on Thursday, effectively exposing a potential threat to national security.
Until Tuesday, none of the violent incidents that occurred during the largely peaceful anti-government protests were targeting state entities.
Also on Tuesday, when strike leaders called on the population to intensify protests, most protests were peaceful.
¡¡¡HAY ESPERANZA!!! Este es el espectacular río de gente de la movilización de esta noche en Bucaramanga. Miles de personas protestando pacíficamente por sexto día consecutivo contra el gobierno de Duque. ¡¡¡Gracias Colombia por despertar!!! ✊🇨🇴 #26Nov#27NParoNacional pic.twitter.com/g6NOwNsyEp
— Juan Sebastián López (@JuanSLopezM) November 27, 2019
Only in Bogota and the southern city of Neiva were clashes reported between police and hooded men, presumably radical students.
The clashes in Neiva left three riot policemen injured, one seriously.
Por Dios!!! Y estás vidas no valen? Solo porque son policías? De esto no se habla igual!!! Esto es de lado y lado, son seres humanos y esto tiene que parar ya!!! No más violencia!! 🙏🙏@AlbertoBernalLe @gusgomez1701 @darcyquinnr @VickyDavilaH pic.twitter.com/RxJI9lkvGx
— Gregorio 🇨🇴 (@andrespuerto74) November 26, 2019
In the city of Pereira, ESMAD forces attacked protesters who had been protesting peacefully for days and who claimed that the anti-riot police cornered and attacked them.
Me reportan que en Pereira ante la manifestación pacífica de los marchantes, el ESMAD desplegó un operativo, alrededor de 2 mil personas a esta hora están en zozobra en el Viaducto (un puente). @DirectorPolicia, ordénele al ESMAD retirarse del lugar. pic.twitter.com/HiutkyRVrQ
— Mafe Carrascal (@MafeCarrascal) November 27, 2019
Official statistics on injuries and fatalities have been unreliable as the government seeks to inflate the gravity of injuries suffered by the security forces while, diminishing the gravity of injuries suffered by civilians.
The escalation of protests and the beginning of attacks on state entities further increases pressure on Duque, whose initial overreaction to the national strike fueled support for the protests.