The Defense Minister deployed 53,000 police and 36,000 members of the Armed Forces to try to contain the protests.
On Tuesday, the government of President Ivan Duque once again assaulted Colombians through the actions carried out by the Anti-Riot Mobile Squad (ESMAD).
Interior Minister acknowledged that 119 rallies, 58 marches, and 18 mobilizations took place in 95 municipalities in 26 departments during Independence Day celebrations.
According to official data, the Defense Minister deployed 53,000 police and 36,000 members of the Armed Forces to try to contain the protests which were called by the main unions to demand justice, peace, employment, health, and education.
In Cali City's Dignity Hill, alternative media recorded the moment in which police indiscriminately used tear gas and stun bombs to disperse citizens holding cultural events for Independence Day and protesting against the Duque regime.
#21Julio No es el régimen genocida de Israel bombardeando Palestina, es la dictadura de #Colombia que envía a sus escuadrones de la muerte del ESMAD, a atacar con armas venom a manifestantes pacíficos que protestan contra Duque #viral #FueraDuquepic.twitter.com/mEx3okhqzS— Bass Moherav (@MoheravBass) July 21, 2021
The meme reads, "21July. This is not Israel's genocidal regime bombing Palestine. It is the Colombian dictatorship sending ESMAD death squads and its venom weapons to attack peaceful citizens protesting against Duque. Out with Duque."
In Medellin City, the ESMAD also attacked citizens who were concentrated in the area known as Parques del Rio. So far, human rights defenders have not been able to consolidate figures on the number of people affected by police brutality. However, local outlets reported that 22 citizens were detained by police in the cities of Pasto, Bogota, Manizales, Pereira, and Cali.
Amid these expressions of State terrorism, the Attorney General's Office opened a new investigation against the National Police regarding the case of Duvan Barros, a minor who disappeared during protests in early June and turned up dead last week.
His mother tried to look for him in Bogota's police facilities where "she was told that the young man was out partying." According to a witness, however, ESMAD members arrested the citizen and put him in a truck.