Bogotá appealed for forgiveness and reconciliation in a day in which he remembered the 13 fatalities of the violent demonstrations against police brutality, whose relatives called for an end to the violence.
To the Plaza de Bolívar in Bogotá, center of the power of ColombiaParents, brothers and children of the people who died or were wounded with bullet shots arrived, which according to Mayor Claudia López, occurred despite the fact that she ordered the Police never to use “firearms in citizen protests.”
At the ceremony, which was not attended by the Colombian president, Ivan DuqueDespite being invited, and whose chair remained empty, the High Commissioners for Peace, Miguel Ceballos, and Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez, were representing the National Government.
The president of the Truth Commission, the Jesuit Francisco de Roux; Pastor Emiro Roa, from the Church of God Ministerial de Jesus Christ International, and Monsignor Jaime Mancera, from the Archdiocese of the Bogota.
The violent protests were sparked by the police brutality which caused the death of Javier Ordóñez, a 46-year-old man who was restrained with excessive force and the prolonged use of a taser electric pistol by two officers during his arrest early Wednesday in Bogotá.
No more violence
For Bryan Baquero, whose sister Angie died after get shot in the abdomen In the La Gaitana neighborhood on the night of September 9, what Bogotá experienced in recent days should sensitize citizens and authorities, which is why he asked for the violence to stop.
“We do not want more families to go through this, this is very hard, very difficult, because we have lost a person that we will no longer be able to see, who leaves us a great emptiness in our heart (…) We ask that so much violence that exists in the country and in the city be calmed down, “Baquero said at the event.
Constanza Chaparro, a relative of young Brayan Rodríguez, who was wounded with a bullet that “totally destroyed the femur”, who considers that violence “is not the way” to express “so much indignation with everything that is happening” in Colombia.
“We must have a change as human beings. We must not continue to be influenced by anger, rage. Let’s sit down and talk as friends,” said the woman who also made a call not to be forgotten victims of violence in recent days in the Colombian capital.
At the event, Mayor López apologized and expressed her condolences to each of the relatives of the dead for the violence this week in Bogotá.
“It is the function of the state authorities to prevent these events from occurring. Today we also apologize because these events occurred despite all efforts and clear instructions given by the Mayor’s Office, so that they are never used. Firearms in the citizen protests in our city, “said López after hugging family members.
The mayor stated that Bogotá had not experienced days of so much violence since the take the justice Palace, on November 6 and 7, 1985, when guerrillas from the April 19 Movement (M-19) broke into the building located in the Plaza de Bolívar itself and took nearly 300 people hostage, including the magistrates of the Court Supreme Court of Justice and the Council of State.
The Army took back the building with blood and fire, an action that stopped 94 dead, among them 11 magistrates of the Court, dozens of wounded and 11 disappeared, mostly employees of the cafeteria and visitors.
“This is one mourning week For Bogotá, what happened on September 9 and 10 in our city is the most serious thing that has happened in Bogotá since the taking of the Palace of Justice, “said López, who reiterated the need for an urgent reform of the Police.
Art and culture
Another act that took place this Sunday was a concert on a platform installed behind the Immediate Attention Command (CAI) of the Verbenal neighborhood police, which was set on fire during the demonstrations and in whose vicinity two young people died.
There the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogotá and the Police Orchestra appeared to give a message of optimism as a giant sign installed on the edge of the stage said: “Bogotá is reconciled. Truth, justice and reform of “.
For the concert, which was attended by the relatives of the victims and residents of the Verbenal, the authorities installed cushions and delimited the spaces for families to maintain social distance due to the pandemic of coronavirus.
Flor Alcira Peralta, mother of the 17-year-old Edinson Peralta, who was wounded with a bullet in the arm and another in the knee during the demonstrations, told Efe during the concert that the day of reconciliation was “very good”, because that boosts the “paz” and that “there is no more violence between the Police and the communities.”
They seek lasting peace
The woman related what happened to her son, who was trying to help a colleague who had been shot and in doing so received two bullets.
“The police here from Verbenal (shot him). He was attacked for going to save the friend and the friend fell, he was the one who died. When he fell, my son went to help him (…) When he helped to lift him, he felt the bullet in his hand, he thought it was one of the other bullets, and then he felt another in his leg, “the woman told Efe .
For this reason, Peralta called on the young boys “so that they are very careful” and stressed that “there is no need to be looking for problems, we need peace.”
“At this moment, pay attention, you must stay at home, do not be against the law because you see what they are doing,” said Peralta, adding that they need “to have Justice“to clarify the case of his son,” that it is not known how it will be “due to the injuries.