PBI-Colombia at Portal Américas humanitarian space in Bogota where the ESMAD has committed human rights violations

Published by Brent Patterson on

On May 13, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project posted: “PBI accompanies the Justice and Peace Commission in the ‘to heat the pot’ humanitarian space in Bogota. @DefenderLiberta highlights the critical situation of violations of human rights in Portal Américas since the beginning national strike includes…”

27 protesters injured
8 documented cases of detention and torture
4 cases of illegal detention
1 homicide
12 detained without prosecution and released with injuries
6 arrested and released
1 war helicopter landing 

Reports of police violence

This fuller statement notes: “The Transmilenio de las Américas portal has been used as a military base and torture center for several nights since the strike began. The protesters denounce that many have been arrested and entered inside the portal where they have been tortured, some cases have even been published by their victims.”

“On May 7, the young Dylan Blion, musician, leader of the local youth and who had accompanied the marches, was shot down by an ESMAD tank. …On April 28, Daniel Alejandro Zapata was beaten by a stunner who kept him in a coma for days and died on May 10.”

“There is a strong presence of tanks, which make indiscriminate use of tear gas and ammunition of an unknown type in the area.”

“Many women have organized to support young people by making pots, making food, delivering water, the police harass them, beat them.”

Their statement concludes: “It is important that national and international organizations that defend human rights are aware of the complaints so that a complete and effective follow-up can be carried out on what is being experienced in the city within the framework of the National Strike.”

City councillor denounces the human rights violations

Bogota city councillor Diego Cancino has tweeted: “We denounce human rights violations in Bogotá and Portal Américas: 20 injured. Inside the Portal of the America there have been serious mistreatments of young people (organizations report 8 verified cases). Illegal detentions. Gunshot wounds. Violence against youth. Stop NOW!”

For more on this situation, there is also this Publimetro article: Portal Americas, a war scenario where police brutality has been the protagonist in the protests.

The space

The humanitarian space is located at a TransMilenio station, a bus rapid transit (BRT) system that serves Bogotá. The Portal de Las Américas station is in southwestern Bogotá in the locality of Kennedy, which is mostly inhabited by working and low-income residents.

PBI-Colombia has previously noted it’s “where youth and grassroots organizations in the area have created a humanitarian space for participation in the social protests.”

Teusaradio further explains: “The proclaimed Humanitarian Space on the Americas Portal in the town of Kennedy in Bogotá has already been configured for several days in a place of artistic, cultural and political debate that resists constant police repression.”

PBI-Colombia has also reported on its accompaniment of the Justice and Peace Commission in the humanitarian space on May 6, 11 and 12.

For more – Photo journal: PBI-Colombia accompanies human rights defenders during the #ParoNacional national strike.

Categories: News Updates


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