Supreme Court of Colombia attacks the Police and abuses in protests

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He Supreme Court of Colombia has affirmed that the Police exert a “constant aggression”, as well as a “systematic, violent and arbitrary intervention” against those people who are demonstrating these days in the streets due to police violence, which has left almost fifteen dead and hundreds injured.

This is one of the most severe resolutions issued by the Supreme Court against the Colombian forces of order, especially against the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD), which it has accused at least since 2005, of acting “impulsively” and not “neutrally” against the protesters.

Permanent assaults

“Their uncontrolled activities represent a risk, a serious and current threat for those who intend to go out and mobilize to peacefully express their opinions, because their actions, far from being isolated, are constant and reflect a permanent aggression“, he pointed out.

The Supreme Court has also given the Ministry of Defense 48 hours to officially apologize to the entire country, for excesses committed by the police forces and the military during the 2019 national strike, in which the 18-year-old Dilan Cruz was killed by an ESMAD captain.

Likewise, it has ordered ESMAD that within 48 hours “discontinue use of 12 gauge shotguns”, the weapon, which contains between 600 and 700 lead pellets, with which Cruz was shot on November 23, 2019, during the protests in Bogotá. Also, send the Prosecutor’s Office all the existing documentation so that the investigations on the case can continue.

Violation of rights

“A nation that seeks to recover and build its democratic identity cannot locate the citizens that legitimately protest in the dialectic friend-enemy, left and right, good and bad, friends of peace and enemies of peace, but rather as the political expression which seeks to open space for dialogue, consensus and the non-violent reconstruction of the Constitutional State of Law “, he stressed.

The Supreme Court has also analyzed the incidents and disproportionate interventions carried out by the forces of order since 2005, such as the attacks registered during the national demonstration of indigenous peoples in 2017; the university protests in Bogotá and Barranquilla two years later; numerous deaths; and the cases of people who have lost at least one of their eyes after being hit by projectiles launched by the Police.

Thus, the High Court remarks that “the problem raised” has a national scope, “since it is clear the constant disrespect for the superlative guarantees of the people to exercise the right to peaceful protest, non-violent, throughout the territory and the lack of state response to that situation. “

The responsibility of Iván Duque

Likewise, it has criticized the work of the Government of Colombia, because “despite the regulations and the high discursive content of the jurisprudence regarding the guarantees to protest peacefully,” it has shown “very little effectiveness” in terms of punishing the police violence.

For this reason, the Supreme Court has demanded the president, Ivan Duque, that within a month, issue an administrative order ordering all public officials “to maintain neutrality when non-violent demonstrations occur, even if they are aimed at questioning the policies of the National Government”, in addition “to guarantee and facilitate the exercise of fundamental rights.”

Police Training

The education and training of agents in the field of Human rights, the development of police operations “aimed at restoring order and not at unjustified aggressions”, as well as the use of force “in harmony with the principles of legitimacy, necessity and proportionality”, are other demands that the Supreme Court has presented. through a statement.

Finally, the Supreme Court has ordered that once it becomes known that the use of disproportionate force has caused “damage to life and integrity of people“Within six months, and” regardless of any investigations, “the authorities have” the obligation to provide a satisfactory and convincing public explanation of what happened. “

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