Eight folks have been killed within the Colombian capital of Bogota and satellite tv for pc metropolis Soacha in a single day in protests towards police brutality, sparked by a broadly shared video of a person being repeatedly shocked with a stun gun by police earlier than later dying.
Almost 100 cops and 55 civilians have been injured and dozens of stations and public autos broken or set alight, the federal government stated. There have been 70 arrests, largely in Bogota.
Demonstrators have been protesting the loss of life this week of lawyer Javier Ordonez, 46.
The video, filmed by Ordonez’s good friend, exhibits him pinned to the bottom by officers and subjected to successive electrical shocks as he begs, “Please, no extra.”
Police say Ordonez, a father of two, was discovered consuming alcohol on the street with associates in violation of coronavirus distancing guidelines. He was taken to a police station in western Bogota the place his household alleges he suffered additional abuse. He died later in hospital.
The 2 officers concerned have been suspended pending an investigation, the federal government has stated. An post-mortem is pending.
Ordonez’s household referred to as for justice and peaceable protest.
“He was murdered by the cops,” his former sister-in-law, Eliana Marcela Garzon, informed Reuters. “We do not need [deaths] in a rustic already filled with battle, we would like justice.”
Police reform is required, Garzon stated, particularly for the way forward for youngsters like her now-fatherless nephews.
“I do not need them to develop up feeling like there is not justice on this nation,” she stated. “I would like them to develop up figuring out legal guidelines are adopted.”
Mayor, president attraction for calm
Bogota’s left-wing mayor Claudia Lopez requested President Ivan Duque to name a halt to police use of firearms at protests.
“There’s strong proof of indiscriminate use of weapons by members of the police,” Lopez informed journalists at an area hospital. “We won’t tolerate the usage of violence to suppress violence.”
Six folks have been killed through the protests in Bogota, she stated, including that each one of them have been younger individuals who had gunshot accidents.
Lopez urged protesters to chorus from vandalism.
Earlier, two deaths have been reported in Soacha.
Duque has stated there will be no tolerance for abuse of authority, however the authorities referred to as for Colombians to not “stigmatize” cops.
Bogota’s police might be strengthened with 1,600 extra officers, greater than half of whom will come from different areas, and 300 troopers, the defence ministry stated.
“What we face here’s a mass act of vandalism and violence,” Defence Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo informed journalists. “What we face are unacceptable actions.”
An effort by labour unions earlier this week to revive mass protests seen final yr towards Duque’s financial and social insurance policies garnered a tepid response amid ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
However Ordonez’s loss of life might gas renewed widespread outrage towards the police, who have been roundly criticized final yr after a teenage protester was fatally injured by a riot squad projectile.