Controversy over Colombia World Cup toll

Jun 30, 2014 - 2:54 PM Authorities are at odds over the toll from weekend violence sparked by Colombia's raucous celebrations of its World Cup win over Uruguay - with Bogota's mayor mourning eight dead but police only saying 34 were wounded.

The festivities following the Saturday win, which qualified Colombia for the quarter finals for the first time, resulted in more than 3000 violent incidents nationwide, the National Police said in a statement.

There were 34 wounded, including three who were shot, the statement said.

But Bogota's mayor claimed on Twitter that eight fatalities had occurred - a figure disputed by the police commander, who insisted the death toll was zero.

"There were no violent deaths linked to celebrations" following Saturday's game, Humberto Guatibonza told the press, adding that only four violent deaths occurred all day.

"Every day people die in Bogota for different reasons," he added.

On Saturday, police had said a 25-year-old woman was killed in an accident caused by a stray bullet fired in celebration, but later revised the report to say she had been targeted and murdered by a gunman.

Bogota has a homicide rate of 15.8 people per every 100,000, according to figures from the city.

By banning alcohol sales and increasing policing during the matches, Colombia had hoped to stem the sort of post-game violence that took place when its team beat Greece on June 14.

Following that match, police reported nine people dead, 150 vehicle accidents and 3000 fights.

In the next game, Colombia - which had not made a World Cup tournament in 16 years - will face powerhouse Brazil on July 4.

Source: AAP

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