NOMADESC says police surveilled meeting with national strike participants victimized by state violence

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Image retweeted by NOMADESC of Cali police monitoring and intercepting communications.

On November 4, PBI-Colombia tweeted an Alert about a “serious complaint by the accompanied organization @Nomadesc: surveillance by police officers while providing legal advice to #ParoNacional [national strike] victims.”

NOMADESC has tweeted: “Illegal surveillance, control and interception by the National Police against the NOMADESC association and the political headquarters of Senator Alexander Lopez who legally advises national strike processes in the city of Cali.”

The full statement/alert can be read in Spanish here.

On November 2, El Tiempo reported: “NOMADESC, Senator Alexander López, 26 national human rights organizations and 5 International ones assure that there would be evidence of illegal monitoring and interception of their activities.”

That article explains:

In the document they assure that on October 28, 2021, at 10:51 a.m. a motorized one, with two police officers, approach the person who provides surveillance services in this area, on Carrera 9 and Calle 4 in the San Antonio neighborhood, and starts a conversation.

One of the uniformed officers would have given him ‘an electronic device, square, black with green, which is referred to from a distance as a device for signal interception. The agent who was sitting on the motorcycle points with the radio that he has in his hand at address to the office of the Nomadesc Association and the headquarters of Senator Alexander López.’

According to the statement, the guard receives the device and stored it in his personal kangaroo. This situation is registered by the security cameras of the sector and the director of the Nomadesc Association, Berenice Celeita, noticed the situation from within the headquarters.

The complaint states that after 17 minutes, at 11:08 a.m., the same police patrol returns to the site and returns to dialogue with the guard, during which they pointed their hands and their gaze towards the political headquarters of Senator López.

This situation arose when a meeting of relatives of victims of the strike was taking place at the headquarters of the Nomadesc Organization, while a press conference was held at the headquarters of the Senator.

Last week, El Espectador also reported: “The Association for Research and Social Action leads the legal process of ten cases of human rights violations in the framework of the National Strike in Valle del Cauca.”

That article is titled: “The order was to eliminate those who protested”: NGO Nomadesc.

It adds: “Its director, Berenice Celeita, maintains that there was a coordinated plan from the institutionality [the Colombian state and the ESMAD riot police] for armed civilians to attack the different points of protest. None of the people who shot and blinded the lives of 82 young people in the Valley have been prosecuted or are in detention, she says.”

The Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project has accompanied NOMADESC since 2011 and its president Berenice Celeita since 1999.

We additionally note that on July 17, Colombian police stopped delegations travelling to Cali for a popular assembly related to the national strike and social protests. In their operation, the police used a Huron armoured vehicle manufactured by Toronto-based INKAS. More can be read here on that violation of the right to peaceful assembly.

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