Colombia’s Police Under Fire Over Protester Assassinations and Vandalism Claims

By Adriaan Alsema – Sep 10, 2020

The police department of Colombia’s capital Bogota is under fire for allegedly assassinating civilians and taking part in vandalism in response to protests against police brutality.

The criticism followed evidence that Bogota police were involved in similar terror tactics as during peaceful anti-government protests in November when they were also filmed taking part in vandalism.

One video showed how members of the riot police unit ESMAD clashing with regular cops in defense of civilians who found themselves under attack.

News website Colombia Informa published video footage of an armed man, apparently a policeman in civilian, who was one of several reportedly opening fire at civilians.

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Locals told Blu Radio reporter Ricardo Gonzalez one of the five people who died in the chaos in Colombia’s capital on Wednesday was assassinated by police.

“The cops from the Verbinal police post started shooting. What Jaider did was to cover himself with a door and what they did was to shoot at the door. They killed him with four shots,” one of Jaider Fonseca’s colleagues told me at the Fundacion Cardioinfantil [hospital].

Reporter Ricardo Gonzalez

Other videos confirmed police was opening fire at civilians without apparent reason.

“la Policia continúa disparando como si estuviéramos en una guerra civil. Desde mi balcón Bogotá parece un infierno pic.twitter.com/h22x64QfTw

— Tagiron (@Tagirion1) September 10, 2020

Another video showed a man in black wearing a police helmet attacking civilians.

News website Publimetro reported that its photographer was threatened by police while.

According to Publimetro’s editor-in-chief, Alejandro Pino, “police officers threatened to take away his press card, detain him and fine him for taking pictures of the protest on Park Way.”

“What about the freedom of the press?

Publimetro editor in chief Alejandro Pino

The news website published evidence of policemen taking part in vandalism.

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The use of terror tactics by Bogota’s police to quell the anti-government protests last year spurred lawmakers to file complaints before international human rights organizations.

Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo, who was already under fire, announced investigations. Bogota Mayor Claudia Liopez had already announced a “structural reform” of her police department before the cops embarked on a terror campaign in response to protests over the killing of an unarmed civilian the night before.

 

(Colombia Reports)