World Cup chill in Colombia: alcohol bans, curfews
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Local authorities fearful of more World Cup-related violence banned liquor sales on Tuesday in Bogota and other major Colombian cities. Some mayors also imposed game-day curfews for minors.
The mayor of the central city of Sogamoso, Miguel Angel Perez, told The Associated Press that he imposed an 8 p.m.-to-8 a.m. curfew for minors and an alcohol ban hoping to forestall a repeat of troubles that erupted Thursday after the Colombian team’s victory clinched it a place in the tournament’s second round.
Vandals damaged several shopping centers and three police officers were injured and 30 youths arrested following the 2-1 win over Ivory Coast.
In all, celebrations of Colombia’s victories over Ivory Coast and earlier over Greece led to at least 11 deaths nationwide and more than 13,700 violent incidents, many involving alcohol, authorities reported.
“It’s not a victory if there is a single death,” Interior Minister Aurelio Iragorri told the AP by telephone prior to Colombia’s game Tuesday, in which it defeated Japan 4-1.
On Tuesday, Bogota began a 24-hour ban on alcohol sales at 6 a.m. Other cities with bans on liquor sales for the day included Cali, Colombia’s third-biggest, and the regional capitals of Pasto, Neiva and Bucaramanga. Cucuta, on the border with Venezuela, also imposed a ban on liquor as well as a curfew for minors.
Some cities also imposed bans on motorcycles carrying passengers and on the public bearing of firearms.
A lot of tavern- and restaurant-owners were unhappy at what they called overzealous mayors.
One veteran politician, former lawmaker and big-city mayor Antonio Navarro-Wolff, summed up that sentiment in a tweet: “Dry laws and curfews in half the country. Is this a World Cup or a civil war?”
Associated Press writers Cesar Garcia in Bogota and Frank Bajak in Lima, Peru, contributed to this report.