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  • A demonstrator throws a molotov cocktail during a protest to mark International Human Rights Day as a national strike continues in Bogota, Colombia December 10, 2019.

    A demonstrator throws a molotov cocktail during a protest to mark International Human Rights Day as a national strike continues in Bogota, Colombia December 10, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 December 2019

Deputy Juanita Goebertus said that given the recent excessive use of force and arbitrary detentions by Esmad, it is urgent to initiate a reform of the security sector.

The Attorney General of Colombia stated on Wednesday that it will conduct an investigation into what happened on Tuesday when agents of the questioned Mobile Riot Squadron ( Esmad ) of the National Police detained two young men and transported them in private vehicles.

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The Public Ministry indicated that it will open the preliminary inquiry without determining the agents subject to prosecution because the name of the police elements that forced the young people to board the cars, departed in an unknown direction.

Last Tuesday, when International Human Rights Day was commemorated, police officers detained and transported two people in private vehicles - one of them identified as María Fernanda Pérez Ramírez - during a university protest in Bogotá.

The Metropolitan Police of Bogotá reported hours later that the two people were set free and explained that the vehicles, in effect, did not carry official badges, but that both were driven by police officers and belong to the institution.

This latest episode of arbitrary arrests, which was known for a series of videos uploaded to social media, provoked innumerable complaints by political parties, human rights defenders and people in general about the abuses that Esmad has committed during the social protests that began on November 21.

Among the charges against the security forces was the reported death of Dilan Cruz, who was shot at close range by one of the officers of Esmad.

The human rights activist Juan Guillermo Hernández said that "these incidents ignite all alarms and there are doubts about what is being done and how Esmad is acting, which has to give an explanation."

Deputy Juanita Goebertus, of the Green Party, said for her part in a tweet that “recent events of excessive use of force and arbitrary detentions by some members of the Police in Bogotá are an urgent call for us to start as soon as possible a reform to the security sector ”.

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