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News > Colombia

2,300 Cases of Police Violence Against Protesters in Colombia

  • Members of the Indigenous Organization of Antioquia carry out cultural activities while walking the streets, today in Medellín

    Members of the Indigenous Organization of Antioquia carry out cultural activities while walking the streets, today in Medellín | Photo: EFE

Published 18 May 2021

Temblores points out that this report did not include the cases of people who disappeared during the mobilizations.

The Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Temblores published this Tuesday its updated report on the figures of repression perpetrated by agents of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD) and the Army against demonstrators, who have already completed 21 days mobilized in Colombia.

"After a long day of verification, we were able to corroborate that between April 28 and May 17, at least 2,387 cases of police violence occurred, among which we recorded 43 homicides allegedly committed by the police," the report states.

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The NGO stated that 1,139 arbitrary detentions were registered, 472 interventions classified as violent by the public force, 384 citizens victims of physical violence, 146 cases of firearm shots, 33 cases of eye injuries, 18 victims of sexual aggression, and five victims of gender violence.

"The latest reports that have been registered have come especially from Yumbo, Valle del Cauca (...) within the cases of violence by the public forces, the cases of missing persons are not counted", specifies Temblores.

Given the concurrent acts of repression in the framework of the National Strike, the NGO Temblores expresses its concern for the use of combat weapons by the ESMAD against the mobilized Colombians, "we express our concern for a series of violent practices such as the use of tear gas in residential areas, the irregular use from the ground and outside the ESMAD vehicles of the Venom projectile launcher," they add.

In its report, Temblores categorically rejects the pronouncement of President Duque, who last Monday ordered the security forces a greater deployment to clear the roads, stigmatizing the demonstrations branding them as "saboteurs of the economy and the development of the country." 

"It is evident of the lack of will on the part of the Government to address the problem beyond applying disciplinary sanctions to isolated cases," says Temblores.

Given the Executive's insistence to continue solving the country's social problems with the ESMAD and the Army, Temblores recommends the demonstrators to deploy in the streets until 18H00 (local time) when the sun sets in the country. 

"We recommend to all citizens that in case of police violence, they carry out the documentation process in a safe place, without compromising their life or integrity (...) we recommend that they use our channels of denunciation, reception of complaints and legal advice," concludes the Temblores statement.

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