PBI-Colombia accompanies dhColombia at vigil for man shot by police at protest against police violence

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On September 13, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project tweeted: “PBI accompanies @dhColombia [the Association Network of Human Rights Defenders in Colombia] in an act of solidarity for Manuel Acevedo Fernández, victim of two gunshot wounds during the protests of the last week.”

The “Candle for Life” gathering took place on Saturday September 12 starting at 4 pm.

Fourteen people have been killed in Bogota and hundreds more injured (72 of them with gunshot wounds) by the police at protests following the police killing of Javier Ordóñez this past Wednesday September 9.

Ordóñez was a 46-year-old father of two who was also reportedly just one exam away from graduating from law school.

There is this video of two police officers kneeling on Ordóñez, repeatedly stunning him with a Taser, while he says “please, enough, no more!”

The police say Ordóñez was drinking on the street in violation of physical distancing rules, but The City Paper reports: “According to Ordoñez’s wife, María Angelica, her husband had completed his taxi shift, around midnight, when he decided to walk to the nearest shop to buy some liquor.”

Agence France-Presse reports: “For many Colombians, the case evoked the killing in the US in May of African American George Floyd, also 46, who suffocated after being pinned by the neck to the road under the knee of a white officer.”

The Financial Times adds: “Protesters said the riots were a spontaneous response to police brutality — not just the killing of Mr Ordóñez, but many previous incidents of abuse.”

dhColombia has tweeted: “As an immediate and urgent measure [the Mayor’s Office of] Bogota should put permanent officials at CAI [police units located on the perimeters of Bogota] and @PoliciaColombia stations.”

They add: “The torture and sexual violence centers that they have become must now be disarmed, not to mention the articulation that exists with organized crime.”

The Twitter hashtag used by dhColombia is #LaPoliciaNosEstaMatando which translates as: the police are killing us.

In the coming weeks, PBI will be hosting a webinar on police violence that will feature defenders from Colombia, Kenya, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

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