Los Angeles City Council votes to call for suspension of arms sales to the Colombian government

Published by Brent Patterson on

Protest at the CANSEC arms show, Ottawa, May 2019.

On June 2, the Los Angeles Daily News reported: “City Council [has] unanimously condemned police violence against protesters in Colombia and called for a suspension of U.S. arms and crowd control equipment aid to the Colombian government.”

That article adds: “Colombia’s national police force is accused of beating, detaining and killing protesters over the last month. President Ivan Duque said he does not believe the violence was systemic, according to the New York Times, which reported based on dozens of interviews with witnesses and victims’ family members that officers have opened fire on peaceful demonstrations.”

Temblores has reported that between April 28 and May 31, there were 3,789 cases of police violence, 1,649 arbitrary detentions and 25 victims of sexual violence committed by the police and military in the context of the ongoing national strike.

Councillor Kevin de Leon says: “This resolution reaffirms that the right to express oneself, especially in the form of a peaceful protest, is a fundamental human right that cannot be taken away or cannot be silenced through violence and brutality.”

CANSEC arms show in Ottawa

In May 2014, the Canadian Commercial Corporation, a federal government owned Crown corporation, stated it toured the exhibition floor at CANSEC arms show in Ottawa with a delegation from Colombia.

Global Affairs Canada later reported that it had exported $44,754,393. in military goods to Colombia that year.

In May 2014, Toronto-based INKAS reported it would supply 4 Huron tactical attack and defense vehicles to the National Police of Colombia.

In April 2015, INKAS reportedly had a tendered order 26 Huron vehicles for the Colombian police. PLANT reported: “The Huron will be outfitted with a cannon to wrangle unruly rioters with foam, tear gas, dyes and water.”

CANSEC grew out of ARMX, a Government of Canada-organized military trade show that was previously held at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa in the 1980s. In 1989, Ottawa Mayor Marion Dewar and City Council passed a resolution that prohibited ARMX from municipal properties, including Lansdowne Park.

CANSEC now takes place at the EY Centre, which is located near the Ottawa International Airport. The next CANSEC arms show is scheduled for June 1-2, 2022.


Today, June 3, Peace Brigades International is convening a webinar with three Colombian human rights defenders to discuss the issue of police and military violence against the current national strike. Rachel Small from World Beyond War Canada will also speak to the issue of Canadian military exports to Colombia.

To register for today’s webinar, please click here.


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