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News > Colombia

Colombian Police Responsible for 11 Deaths in 2020 Protests

  • Former Ombudsman Carlos Negret at the Bogota mayoralty, Colombia, Dec. 13, 2021.

    Former Ombudsman Carlos Negret at the Bogota mayoralty, Colombia, Dec. 13, 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 14 December 2021
Opinion

After six months of investigation, an independen report collected evidence of Police brutality against citizens in Bogota.

In a hearing held at the Bogota mayoralty on Monday, former Ombudsman Carlos Negret presented a report showing that the National Police was directly involved in 11 out of 14 murders of civilians that occurred during the Sep. 2020 protests.

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After six months of investigation, his final report collected evidence of Police brutality during the protests. This information came from testimonies of over 90 witnesses, among whom were police officers, citizens, and relatives of the victims.

Negret's report states that the deaths of citizens occurred because the policemen were not prepared to handle large crowds of protesters and did not receive clear instructions regarding the use of firearms.

Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez apologized to the victims' relatives and assured she will follow all the report's recommendations, which will be also presented to President Ivan Duque, the Police Director Gen. Jorge Vargas, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

So far, only four police officers are facing murder charges for deaths that occurred during the protests. There are still no convictions and none of them is in prison.

In 2020, the death of 46-year-old cab driver Javier Ordoñez outraged over 12,000 people who took to the streets to express their discontent. During the protests, 75 people were shot, hundreds of citizens were beaten, and 76 police stations were damaged or destroyed.

Negret's report states that the Colombian police acted mostly against young poor people who were looking for better job opportunities. The Bogota districts most affected by State terrorism were Usaquen, Suba, Engativa, and Kennedy.

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