Police brutality in Colombia

News 8 de Jul de 2021 BR ES

Last month, we learned through social medias about the actions of the Colombian government against protesters, who only demand their rights, in other words, they want to be heard. Colombia, like many other countries, has in its Constitution the guarantee to respect the human rights, but since the beginning of the demonstrations in Cali, some doubts have emerged about the actions of the security forces. As incredulous as it may seem, the central and regional government don't have any intention to stop the increase of violence, remaining indifferent about the  wounded and dead during the conflicts.

It is worth mentioning that there was no consensus to allow the entry of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (ICHR) to investigate the continuous violation of human rights in the context of the social demonstrations.

The absurd orders given by the State encourage murders in broad daylight, costing both the lives of the protesters and police members that infiltrate themselves in the demonstrations to cause conflicts, ending up dead. These actions performed by the state show the ignorance about the guidelines proposed by the human rights. Thus, we must analyze what are the main issues that make the situation even more harmful to the population.

People vs People

Cali, epicenter of the social movement of the national penalization in April 28th, started the social demonstration in pacific scenarios, taking in account the pandemic reality - when 90% of the hospital beds were occupied. The marches were composed, in majority, by students of public universities, like Universidade del Valle and the National University of Colombia. The conflicts generated even required the creativity of the protesters to manifest, since the orders of the state forced them to do this.

In a Twitter post,  Álvaro Uribe Vélez ordered the extrajudicial execution of civilians who protested pacifically. This occurred after a mobilization aimed at deleting the former president's Twitter account.

Some videos broadcast on social medias highlight the seriousness of the matter, due to the bad actions of the police through the Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron (known in Colombia as ESMAD) and the Special Operations Group (known as GOES), both regulated by the National Defense Ministry, ruled by Diego Molano Aponte - who remains quiet about the matter since the beginning of the national demonstrations.

As a consequence of the facts cited above, the abuses increased to the point where there was use of VENOM, an armament device that is used for the dispersion in case of minor disturbances. However, there are reports showing that the object was used to hurt and to kill protesters.

There is also the great influence of paramilitary groups composed by civilians, military and cops with fascist ideologies and with the legitimacy to silence the life of the protesters.

A well-known case is that of André Escobar, exclusive resident of "Ciudad Jardín", that used the protection of his property as justification to start an armed struggle against the protesters; the authorities didn't take responsibility by the actions of André, and so, he continues with its criminal conduct that undermines the Colombian constitutional bloc.

The so-called vandals, were stigmatized as the culprits for the material damage in the city. However, some evidence indicates that the police authorities are behind this actions. Many murders were also recorded live.

An other well-known case is that of the official from the Technical Research Corps, Fredy Bermudzes Ortiz, linked to the Attorney General, who was lynched in Lua sector in Cali after pulling out a gun and killing two civilians in the resistance points of Cali. The enraged population stoned him and his death was watched and recorded live.

At this point, we can see that the great businessmen and government leaders are not interested in honoring the memory of the dead, independently which side they are, even the Attorney General Francisco Barbosa, without regretting the death of his officer, exercises an alarming passivity in face of the this dissociation with reference to the facts. He himself confirmed that his officer was not on duty and had no authorization to open fire over the protesters. However, among his belongings were found valuable documents due to the sensitivity of the information, many of them confirming his military training and safe conduct as a side weapon.

In Calipso, located east of Cali, the supermarket group Éxito lent its facilities for the detention of protesters, where murders and massacres took place inside. The human rights watchers encounters blood stains, bloody walls and shotgun shells belonging to the SIPOL and to the DIJIN, intelligence agencies linked to the National Police.

In southern Bogotá, on May 29, the decapitated, probably from a woman, was found in a transparent bag in a dumpster from the school Alfonso López Pumarejo. The local population was worried and afraid with the regrettable events attributed to Para militarism.

Thus, the people are confronted every night, the police and the military are henchmen that provide a private security service. Álvaro Uribe Vélez has on his farm a fertile land, a force of more than 310 Uniformados (paramilitary groups of tactical defense) distributed in the 123,000 hectares belonging to him. Special Forces commands determine their security strategies, even stating that these members are trained with methods that profoundly that come very close to fascism. This training is implemented at Escuela Superior de Guerra - ESDEGUE and at Escuela Militar de Cadetes José María Córdova - ESMIC, in the curricular division of Military Doctrine. The acts that took place have a justification: to sow terror to make extrajudicial executions legal.

There are also intelligence and counterintelligence cells that recruit neo-Nazi followers to form paramilitary groups, even the Third Brigade of the National Army - BR3 facilitated the delivery of weapons to citizens with powerful influences and more than 7,000 troops serving security in condominiums, highways and humanitarian corridors in order to "protect" legitimate interests. Many of them are not even in their twenties and enter these groups without absolutely knowing what the purpose of this civil war is.

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