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News > Colombia

Strong Protests Erupt in Colombia After Police Brutality Case

  • Burning of a garbage container during protests in Bogota, Colombia, Sept. 9, 2020.

    Burning of a garbage container during protests in Bogota, Colombia, Sept. 9, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @RaimiRios

Published 10 September 2020

Witnesses asked the police to stop the attacks against a man who was lying defenseless on the floor. Videos posted on social networks ignited the fury of the citizens.

During the night of Wednesday and the early hours of Thursday, hundreds of citizens took to the streets of Bogota to protest the murder of a man at the hands of the police.


Colombia: Three Massacres in One Day Leave 15 People Dead

Lawyer Javier Ordoñez, who was drinking liquor on the street, died after two policemen gave him electric shocks with a taser gun for a long time although he implored them not to.

Citizens recorded the events and immediately uploaded the video to social networks, which generated an outraged response from the population. Shortly afterward, the doctors confirmed that Ordonez died as a result of the blows he received.

The citizens then took to the streets and improvised protests that resulted in street blockades, burning of garbage containers, and throwing stones at police stations.

Colombia's President Ivan Duque broadcast a message on television in which he affirmed that the police officers responsible for the murder have been relieved of their duties while the events are investigated.

The meme reads, "Last night two policemen from Bogota murdered Javier Ordoñez, a 43-year-old lawyer. They subjected him to several shocks with an electric gun. He was defenseless and begged them to stop. However, they continued the attack. The Police killing instead of protecting."

In Bogota, citizens improvised pot-banging protests from their homes while some Immediate Attention Commands (CAI) were set on fire. The demonstrations spread to other cities such as Medellin, the second-largest city in the country.

Similar to what happened with the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, the witnesses asked the police to stop the attacks against Ordoñez because they were causing him serious harm.

“He is telling you to please stop. We are recording you... leave him alone,” said a citizen who was standing next to the scene of the events and whom the Police tried to intimidate to prevent him from recording the beating.

"The same witness assured that the police officers took Ordoñez to a CAI. No one has any certainty yet about what happened there. According to the victim's relatives, however, the officers continued to beat and abuse him in that place. Finally, Ordoñez was transferred to a hospital where he died a few minutes after admission," as reported by France 24.

Paradoxically, Ordoñez's murder occurred on September 9, the Human Rights National Day in Colombia.

"Ordoñez... drove a taxi to support his family. He was about to receive his law degree and also studied aeronautics," local outlet El Tiempo recalled and reported that citizens have summoned new demonstrations throughout this Thursday.

So far, 7 people have died and hundreds of citizens have been injured during the protests that have occurred in the last 24 hours. There have also been fires of cars, garbage containers, and police centers in Bosa, Kennedy, Teusaquillo, Suba, and Engativa.

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