At least ten protesters were arrested and two were injured in a demonstration held last Thursday in various parts of the Colombian capital in memory of eleven people who were shot dead a year ago during protests against police brutality, Bogota police said Friday.
The mobilization was tense at various points in the Colombian capital, especially in Villa Luz, where, according to Télam, there were acts of vandalism that marred the peaceful demonstrations that took place throughout the day.
Meanwhile, Radio Caracol reported that demonstrators gathered at 16 points in the capital and violence was reported at four of them: at the CAI (Police Immediate Attention Center) in Molinos, in Gaitana-Barrio Toscana, in Villa Luz, and in the sector known as Y de Yomasa.
Official reports indicate that six people were injured – four of them police officers – and 10 protesters arrested, in addition to a SITP (Bogotá Integrated Transportation System) station and an ambulance vandalized amid the disturbances.
Meanwhile, at the Banderas Monument, Verbenal Park and Fontibón Foundation Park, the demonstrations were peaceful.
The demonstration was called by relatives and friends of the eleven people who were shot dead a year ago in Colombia during the first days of anti-government protests, with the aim of demanding justice, pointing out that twelve months after the events only four police officers have been charged, although they have not been removed from duty.
Since then, the police have been criticized on numerous occasions. Iván Duque’s government defends force, although recently, on the occasion of Human Rights Day, the Minister of Defense and the police chief deplored the abuse of public agents in some actions.
In a report published last July, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed concern about “the disproportionate use of force, gender-based violence, ethno-racial violence, violence against journalists and against medical missions, irregularities in transfers for protection, and reports of disappearances; as well as the use of military assistance, disciplinary powers, and military criminal jurisdiction.”
One of the most controversial statements in the report is that roadblocks, while affecting the population, are legitimate protest mechanisms enshrined in a constitutional right.
The Organization of American States (OAS) body also criticized the lack of clarity about the number of dead, wounded and missing due to violence during the recent anti-government protests: while the Attorney General’s Office speaks of 21, human rights organizations put the number at more than 70.