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  • Citizens express outrage in the streets of Bogotá. September 10, 2020.

    Citizens express outrage in the streets of Bogotá. September 10, 2020. | Photo: Twitter / @HernanteleSUR

Published 12 September 2020
Opinion

Families mourn and seek justice for victims of state violence, with at least eight of the victims aged between 17 and 27 years old.

While Bogotá continues to be the scene of protests, 13 families mourn the killings of their youth and there are many reports of people who have been missing for more than 24 hours. 

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Colombia: Death Toll Rises to 13 in Protests Over Police Abuse

Demonstrations in and around Colombia’s capital continue to leave victims, most by bulletwound.

For three consecutive nights, citizens have taken to the streets to express outrage at police brutality and the systemic violation of human rights under the government of Ivan Duque and at the hand of his security forces.

The murder of Javier Ordóñez at the hands of police officers, coinciding with the murder of social leaders and massacres in rural areas, sparked an uprising in response to the impunity of the country’s law enforcement.

Protesters targeted the police stations in 45 neighborhoods in Bogotá where 10 were killed and at three police stations in Soacha, Cundinamarca where three were killed.

"The 13 victims were killed by Public Force's exclusive weapons during the protests. Eight of them were young people between 17 and 27 years old. Three are women between 18 and 36 years old," Bogota's Mayor Claudia Lopez explained.

The officially identified victims are as follows: Julieth Ramírez, 18 years old; Cristian Camilo Hernández, 26; Jaider Fonseca, 17; Germán Puentes, 25; Andrés Rodríguez, 23; Angie Paola Vaquero, 19; María del Carmen Viuvche, 40; Jesús Arias, 17; Cristian Hurtado, 27; Stiven Mendoza, 26, and Julián Mauricio González, 27.

Now a process begins in which the leading role will be played by the forensic investigation within the neighborhoods, to determine the cause of death.

Evidence has circulated over social media in videos recorded by residents who have reported security forces shooting "indiscriminately against citizens," as Mayor Claudia López described yesterday; of police officers running in the streets with plainclothes men, even hiding their license plates and throwing objects.

Recordings of bloodied people and what online users have identified as beatings and tortures by police have also been captured on cell phone video.

The Secretary of Government, Luis Ernesto Gómez, announced that they received 167 complaints from citizens and human rights organizations in recent days. 

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