PBI-Colombia accompanies dh Colombia at hearing on death of Nicolas Neira

Published by Brent Patterson on

The Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project has tweeted, “On September 16, PBI Colombia accompanied @dhColombia in the accusation hearing in the case of the minor Nicolas Neira with which the trial for wrongful murder against an ESMAD police officer was initiated.”

@dhColombia refers to the Network of Human Rights Defenders in Colombia (Red de Defensores y defensoras de derechos humanos en Colombia). ESMAD (Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios) refers to the Colombian national police riot squad.

Documental Amarillo provides the context:

“On May 1, 2005, during the mobilization of the International Labor Day, 14-year-old Nicolás David Neira Álvarez was killed in downtown Bogotá.”

“The person in charge is the officer Néstor Julio Rodríguez Rúa, belonging at that time to the first section of the Riot Squadron of the National Police of Colombia – ESMAD – commanded by then Captain Julio Cesar Torrijos Devia.”

“Senior officers of the ESMAD and the National Police tried to cover up the events by gathering their troops in order to unify the versions they would deliver to the authorities and agreed to say that Nicolás had fallen from his own height and had stuck with a bollard in head; others said that the product of a stampede had fallen and this would have caused his death.”

“12 years later, that is, on April 23, 2017, the then Captain Julio Cesar Torrijos Devia, went to the Attorney General’s Office and said that he had covered up the murder of Nicolás, on the orders of Captain Mauricio Infante Pinzón, and declared that the officer Néstor Julio Rodríguez Rúa, was the one who operated the weapon with which the minor, Nicolás Neira, was murdered.”

“In the middle of 2017 and despite the existence of multiple tests to bring Néstor Julio Rodríguez Rúa to trial, the 40th Prosecutor Specialized in Human Rights of Bogotá, decided to make a pre-agreement with the defense of the officer, he accepted charges and received benefits such as the reduction of punishment and the degradation of conduct, a pre-agreement that was accepted by the judges of the case by wrapping the criminal actions of the ESMAD with impunity, and undermining the rights to the judicial and material truth that the victims have and society.”

The El Espectador article from yesterday (behind a paywall) is here and a Contagio Radio article from June with additional background about this case is here.

Photo from Colectivo de Abogados.

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