At least two people were killed when hundreds of fights and riots broke out in Colombia on Sunday after the national team defeated Poland at the World Cup soccer.
According to several police stations, many dozens of people were injured in unrest that broke out when celebrations over the soccer victory turned violent.
The National Police made no statement about national violence statistics.
Despite death, Bogota relatively quiet
In the capital Bogota, more than 60 fights broke out. Thirty-five people, including seven policemen, were injured. One 28-year-old man died.
In the Kennedy district, five uniformed officers were injured in a case in which an attempt was made to mediate in a fight but the people attacked the uniformed officers. Four people were captured.
Police Colonel Jhon Jairo Urrea
This is considerably less violent than the 2014 World Cup when after Colombia’s victory over Greece then-Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro reported 3,000 fights in which nine were killed and 15 were injured.
Medellin, a soccer oasis?
Medellin authorities told local media that the soccer match and subsequent festivities occurred without major incidents.
Mass eruptions of violence did break out in cities like Cali, Bucaramanga and Barranquilla.
Cali’s Metropolitan Police Department reported a record 1,576 fights over the entire weekend during which Colombia was also celebrating father’s day. None of the nine reported homicides were related to soccer celebrations, said Security Secretary Andres Villamizar.
We reiterate our call to Caleños to promote good behavior and self-control.
Security Secretary Andres Villamizar
In Bucaramanga, Colombia’s fifth largest city, as many as 560 fights were registered. One person was killed and at least 10 people were injured.
In Barranquilla, some 300 brawls were registered and one policeman was stabbed.
Colombia’s next match, a group game against Senegal, will be held on Thursday. This match is likely to be celebrated less violently as the game begins at 9AM when many are at work.