In Colombia, the worst of the repression is seen at night. Residents of the city of Cali reported that this Friday night the police were fully engaged in dispersal operations where they even shot at.
One of the epicenters of the protest in Cali was in La Luna sector, where people confirmed that men aboard a van without identification also used their firearms against the protesters.
“People who are gathered at the concentration points are being fired upon,” reported David Cobeña, a journalist covering the protests. He added that the protesters had reported that the gunmen were using “silencers.”
— teleSUR TV (@teleSURtv) May 8, 2021
Assault on the press
Journalists in Colombia are not spared by the riot police ESMAD. On Thursday night, a team of journalists and photojournalists of the Loco Sapiens media reported that they were attacked with pellets by the police, despite the fact that they were displaying their “Press” identification.
The attack occurred in the Sibaté municipality, very close to the capital, Bogotá, and was denounced by the organization Foundation for the Freedom of the Press (FLIP).
Anoche tres periodistas de @LocoSAPIENs_ se encontraban cubriendo una toma cultural en zona rural de Sibaté. Luego, en la madrugada, miembros del #ESMAD dispararon directamente contra ellos con armas de perdigones (uno de los agentes estaba identificado con la placa 173388).
— FLIP (@FLIP_org) May 7, 2021
The organization informed through its Twitter account that “the shots were directed at the journalists despite the fact that they raised their arms and shouted loudly that they were the press. The reporters were fully identified, had helmets marked ‘press’ and carried media ID cards.”
The Loco Sapiens journalists were covering the demonstrations live, and recorded live the ESMAD attack on them. The police officers justified themselves by claiming that the journalists were “doing pure tabloid journalism.”
Featured image: Heavy police repression in Colombia against peaceful demonstrators. Photo courtesy of RedRadioVE.
(RedRadioVE) by Carlos Arellán
Translation: Orinoco Tribune