Andrés Escobar, one of the armed civilians in the demonstrations last May in Cali (Colombia), has published a video asking for financial help to hire a lawyer and thus face the legal process opened by the country’s Prosecutor’s Office after starring in one of the most commented images of the protests where he appears carrying a weapon with which he would have fired at protesters.
Given the judicial situation, Escobar decided to create a bill in Vaki, the platform of crowdfunding, in which he hopes to collect around $ 74,142. Until this Monday, December 20, it has managed to collect $ 2,630 within 58 days of the charges being charged.
At the beginning of December, the lawyer Elmer Montaña, who denounced Escobar, made it known that the businessman from Cali, together with several members of the National Police and other citizens accused of shooting at demonstrators, would face charges of torture, usurpation of public functions and prevaricate, among other alleged criminal conduct. The hearing for the imputation of charges will be held on January 24, 2022.
On May 28, armed civilians, along with police officers, fired at protesters during the national strike in the Ciudad Jardín neighborhood, an exclusive area in the south of Cali, capital of the Colombian department of Valle del Cauca. Those involved, including Escobar, were identified thanks to several photographs that circulated on social networks, in which those people are seen when they draw their weapons and shoot at those who participated in the protests.
We ask the authorities and citizens to identify and recognize each armed civilian and agent so that the first line of law can file corresponding complaints.@IvanCepedaCast2/3 👇 pic.twitter.com/mejczK3IzF
– Univalle Unida (@UnivalleU) May 30, 2021
In the video published last Thursday, Escobar assures that “the accusation seeks to tell the country that criminals are worth more here than good citizens” and that at the time he did what anyone in his place would have done, to exercise the right to legitimate defense, since “Hundreds of vandals” pretended “to destroy, loot and burn alive the CAI policemen [Comando de Atención Inmediata]”During the national strike. He also affirmed that the collection will not only be in his favor but also from” the families of the accused policemen.
We are going to fight for our right to defend ourselves! Support this cause: https://t.co/0IjOnmD8appic.twitter.com/CeFDxEL25L
– Andrés Escobar (@ escobarandres90) December 16, 2021
Users were quick to react by expressing their disagreement with Escobar’s actions during the demonstrations, as well as with the collection. “He has money to buy weapons, ammunition and live in an exclusive sector of Cali and now he is poor to defend himself”, wrote a netizen. “It is not true that you have done what anyone in your place would have done. Apparently, you took up a firearm and went out into the street to shoot indiscriminately. That behavior was sponsored by the Police. This conduct is classified as a crime“, asserted other.