Protests against police violence in Colombia leave 11 dead

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Death. Death always colors the Colombian landscape in a macabre way. Lawyer Javier Ordóñez lost his life after his body received numerous electric shock of the Taser pistol used by the police in Bogotá. “How they saw that he did not react because they took him to the clinic and threw him at the door,” denounced his widow, María Angélica Garzón. The ‘Ordoñez case’ unleashed a new wave of anger against the security institution that killed 11 people and 248 wounded, almost 70 from firearms. The Bogotá mayor, Claudia López, did not hesitate to speak of “a massacre against youth“. Cristian Hernández did not even participate in the protest: he was returning from his work and his face was found with a stray bullet.

The viciousness of the police is not the capital’s heritage. Anderson Arboleda was shot in Puerto Tejada, 472 kilometers southwest of Bogotá, for being at the door of his house during mandatory confinement. Strictly speaking, he did not want to go outside, he was entering, his relatives assured. But it is in the political center of that country where violence by the security forces is less and less tolerated. President Ivan duque He was able to verify this at the end of 2019 when, in the framework of the social outbreak, the young Dilan Cruz lost his life. Then Duque took pity on his fate. This time instead, the right-wing president made an ambiguous reference to the “painful facts“who mourned the Bogota citizens but, above all, preferred to go out in defense of the uniformed men and highlight their”gallant, iron attitude“. Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo emphasized the 93 injured police officers and the destruction of 56 police facilities.

Perplexity

What country are we in? A citizen dies at the hands of two policemen who clearly exceeded their functions and abandoned the protocols due to respect for human dignity, the mayor of the capital declares herself powerless before a police officer who does not want to reform and the authorities beat each other on the chest, but they insist on the already worn-out speech that this is an issue at the individual level, “reacted the newspaper ‘El Espectador’ in its editorial.”Rotten apples or structural problem?“The magazine ‘Semana’ was asked and extended the question to the Armed Forces, involved in cases of espionage and acts of violence such as the bombing of minors in Caquetá.” All this indicates that something is wrong and must be reviewed in depth. ” .

The former general Humberto de la Calle, one of the negotiators of the peace agreement with the FARC, considered that a new police doctrine. “Mr. President: the story of isolated cases is exhausted. Use your leadership to create a culture of rights in the Police.” Duque has nevertheless decided to further strengthen the military presence in Bogotá. The president usually looks at the drama as if it happened in another country. But it is in Colombia where only this year they were also 205 social leaders murdered that sometimes they don’t even deserve the presidential comment.

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