Colombian police accused of violence, torture and shooting against civilians
After the protests of September 9 and the following days, in which 14 people lost their lives, numerous videos have gone viral showing the violence and human rights violations by Colombian police forces: firearms aimed at height man, lynchings, kicks and punches against the civilian population, broken glass, damaged cars. Also, there are hundreds of reports of people arrested during the protests. Some claim to have seen their civil rights violated, to have been beaten and tortured during interrogation by the police. A young journalist affirmed that she was forced to undress in front of police officers and subjected to humiliating behavior.
There are hundreds of videos, testimonies, and complaints about violence and abuse of power collected by human rights associations and the municipality of Bogotà. The end of the lockdown imposed to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Colombia begins with an unpredictable explosion of violence.With the end of the health emergency, social protests flare up in Colombia. The death of the young lawyer Javier Ordóñez, killed by the police, has sparked a new series of violent protests. The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (Cepal) predicts a 10% loss of Colombian GDP this year. Many small and medium-sized businesses went bankrupt during the lockdown. And many families have been living in hardship since the beginning of the pandemic.
The economic crisis adds to and aggravates a social situation that is already very difficult in itself: the reasons that led to the national strikes in November 2019 are unchanged, while anger and frustration have increased.According to data collected by the NGO Temblores, which since 2002 has been following and investigating cases of abuse of power by the Colombian police, 14 people lost their lives between 9 and 12 September last. Of the more than 300 wounded, 63 were victims of stray bullets.
Some very violent videos have gone viral on the web in which the Colombian police forces can be distinguished shooting at eye level at the demonstrators. In one of these, it is even possible to see the live death of a boy hit by a bullet. Given the nature of the events, it is difficult to think that it was not a precise order from the Government. But the Minister of Defense Carlos Holmes Trujillo ignores the square demanding his resignation, offers an official apology, and promises to open internal investigations.