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News > Colombia

Colombians Reject Criminalization of Road Blockages

  • Protesters took to the street in Cali, Colombia, Jun. 13, 2021.

    Protesters took to the street in Cali, Colombia, Jun. 13, 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 20 June 2021 (20 hours 28 minutes ago)
Opinion

A decree established that road blockages would be considered as non-peaceful protests so the use of excessive force by police agents can be exerted. 

In Colombia, social sectors and political organizations rejected the approval of a decree criminalizing road blockades in the context of social protests. 

RELATED: 

Organized Students in Colombia Denounce Police Brutality

Social activists claim that Decree 003/2021 limits the right to protest which are now subordinated to governmental criteria on "peaceful and legitimate" mobilizations.

They explained that road blockages would be considered as a non-peaceful protest so the use of excessive force by police agents can be exerted. 

The organizations recalled that police brutality has resulted in murders, hundreds of detentions, acts of torture, injuries, and sexual violence.

Human rights organizations have also warned that recent protests in the South American nation have left some 74 fatalities, 20 of which are connected to police shootings. 

Cali, Medellin, Bucaramanga, Pasto, Popayan, and Bogota are the hotspots where police brutality has been taken to the extreme. 

The human rights organization Temblores reported  4,285 acts of violence committed by the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD) since the protests started on April 28.

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Ivan Duque
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