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News > Colombia

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Visits Colombia

  • Military officers arrest a protester in Cali, Colombia, Apr. 29, 2021.

    Military officers arrest a protester in Cali, Colombia, Apr. 29, 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 7 June 2021

A human rights observation mission will analyze cases of police violence amid nationwide protests destabilizing the country since Apr. 28.

On Tuesday, a mission from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will start an official visit to Colombia to analyze human rights violations committed by the Military Police (ESMAD) amid nationwide protests whipping the country since April. 


Colombia: At Least 3,789 Police Brutality Cases Since April 28

The mission will analyze denunciations of excessive use of force, forced disappearances, eye injuries, sexual and gender-based violence committed by ESMAD officials.

After meeting with representatives of the Colombian government on Monday, the IACHR mission will interview victims in Bogota and Cali until June 10 to later present a report.

More than 650 civil society organizations have denounced the lack of independence in the country's judicial and control bodies while urging IACHR to condemn strongly the indiscriminate repression against protesters. 

Even if the observation mission can only issue recommendations to President Ivan Duque's government, some of the human rights violations cases could escalate to the IACHR floor, if the victims decide to pursue this process.

Since April 28, when the national strike began, thousands of people have taken to the street in Colombia and other countries to condemn police brutality and Duque's attempts to install neoliberal policies on tax collection and the health sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Strike Committee (CNP) has recorded 3,800 cases of violence against peaceful demonstrators, over 60 homicides, 1,600 arbitrary detentions, 65 cases of eye injuries, and more than 20 sexual assaults against women.


Ivan Duque
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