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During the attempt to dislodge the trespassers, security forces used lethal weapons such as smoke grenades, stunners, and tear gas.
On Saturday, one person died and 17 people were injured in a clash between the Colombian army and undocumented migrants who trespassed the La Esperanza military base in the department of North Santander.
So far, local media have not been able to clearly locate why the migrants entered military lands. Versions of the events remain contradictory. During the attempt to dislodge the trespassers, security forces used weapons such as smoke grenades, stunners, and tear gas.
The Army argued that this decision was indispensable to protect the military base, in which operations against drug trafficking and armed violence are planned.
"I strongly reject these events," El Tarra Mayor Yair Diaz stated, recalling that the migrants involved in this case are inoffensive, vulnerable people who lack housing, medical insurance, or any protection service from the State.
This is ‘The Big Rock of Guatapé’ in Colombia. A very strange geological formation that rises over 200m into the air and has a staircase with 710 steps to get you to the top. A three story observation tower with convenience store and seating area awaits you at the summit… pic.twitter.com/O0JfCn3HGO
Besides urging the Colombian authorities to clarify the reasons for the violence against migrants, human rights defenders proposed that a humanitarian and mediation commission accompany the victims with community representatives to guarantee a peaceful solution to this situation.
Far from attending these suggestions, authorities sent an Anti-Riot Mobile Squad (ESMAD) brigade to support security forces and decreed a curfew from 7:00 p.m. on Saturday until 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
Shortly after, Human Rights International (HRI) Director Brayan Monsalve ordered to end all field activities of his organization in Colombia indefinitely to avoid any confrontation of paramilitary groups against his staff.