The president of Colombia, Iván Duque, promised on Tuesday a formal investigation against the members of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (Esmad) who committed abuses against a young man and two journalists during the latest riots in the town of Suba, in Bogotá.
“To our police officers, all the support, but also all the demands. Faced with the actions of members of the Colombian Police who exceeded the use of force in the town of Suba, the institution immediately began the formal investigation,” he said. Duque on his Twitter account.
To our police officers all the support, but also all the demands. Before the actions of members of the @PoliceColombia that they exceeded the use of force in the town of Suba, the institution immediately began the formal investigation.
– Iván Duque 🇨🇴 (@IvanDuque) June 30, 2021
Violence in Suba
On the morning of this Tuesday, riots were registered after the inauguration of the second line of the Bogotá Metro, located in Suba, which Duque attended along with the mayor of the capital, Claudia Lopez.
In those riots, two journalists recorded the moment when four members of Esmad kicked and beat a young cyclist with batons who was on the ground, without offering resistance. “It’s a boy“shouted one of the women who later witnessed the brutal repression.
When the uniformed men detained the civilian, an Esmad officer also harassed journalists who identified themselves as RCN Radio workers. “Is attacking me“said one of them.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING PICTURES MAY HUMRT YOUR SENSITIVITY
🎥🛑In #Colombia# ParoNacional29J🔻ESMAD beats a child and attacks the press that records the procedure in Suba#SOSColombiaNosEstanMatandopic.twitter.com/y10NI92UG6
– © halecos Amarillosᴳᴸᴼᴮᴬᴸ 🍀ʷAͤNͣOͬNͤYˡMͤOᵍUͥSͦⁿ (@ChalecosAmarill) June 29, 2021
In response to the video broadcast on social networks, the Secretary of Government of Bogotá, Luis Ernesto Gómez, reported that those responsible “were identified and removed for the corresponding investigation.”
“The Police must protect citizens, NOT violate them like that!”, express the official on his Twitter account.
For his part, the commander of the Bogotá Metropolitan Police, Eliécer Camacho, asserted that the Esmad attackers were “separated from their positions and their functions“.” We also relieved all the personnel of the section that was proceeding in that locality, “he said.
Faced with unacceptable action by members of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad this Tuesday in #Sub, the Commander of the Metropolitan Police of Bogotá announces the first decisions on this case, which has been prioritized by the Institution. We will not tolerate human rights violations. pic.twitter.com/CrZjT1dweh
– Metropolitan Police of Bogotá (@PoliciaBogota) June 29, 2021
The mayor reacted to the report of the commander of the Bogotá Metropolitan Police. “We reject and take immediate action on all abuse of authority and act of violence“said López on his Twitter account.
Since April 28, when the social protests began in Colombia, the social organizations Temblores and Indepaz they have documented 3,486 cases of police violence, with a balance of 28 victims of sexual violence and 83 people with eye injuries.
In the two months of the National Strike, they counted 75 murders, including 44 homicides in which police officers allegedly participated.
For its part, the organization Human Rights Watch He received “credible complaints” about 81 deaths that have occurred in Colombia since the protests began, although only 40 deaths would be related to the demonstrations.
Of those 40 victims, 36 were protesters or passersby, while the remaining four were security officials (an agent of the Technical Investigation Corps of the Prosecutor’s Office and three policemen).