The CSPP wins key court ruling in prosecution of Colombian police officer in the death of Dilan Cruz

Published by Brent Patterson on

Share This Page

Jenni Alejandra Medina holds a photo of her son Dilan.

Yesterday, the families of Black and Indigenous peoples killed by the police in Canada held a media conference in front of the Prime Minister’s Office with the demand to defund, disarm, dismantle and abolish the police. In Colombia, the hashtags #DesmonteDelESMADYa (Dismantle ESMAD Now) and #LaPoliciaNosEstaMatando (The Police are Killing Us) are used. To see the video of the media conference in Ottawa, click here.

The Committee in Solidarity with Political Prisoners (CSPP) filed a motion on March 9, 2020, that sought the “investigation, prosecution and punishment” of those responsible for the death of Dilan Cruz be tried in an ordinary court, rather than a military court.

Cruz was shot at a national strike protest in Bogota on November 23, 2019.

EFE notes: “Cruz, 18, died from head injuries sustained from the shooting by an ESMAD officer with a 12-gauge shotgun whose ammunition was a bag with ‘multiple lead pellets’, according to a forensic report that considered the case a violent ‘homicide’.”

The National Police of Colombia, including the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD), fall under the Ministry of Defence along with the army, navy and air force, and constitute part of the “Public Force” in that country.

El Espectador explains that the Constitutional Court has (unanimously) ruled that the prosecution of Manuel Cubillos, an ESMAD riot police captain, in the death of Cruz will stay in the ordinary criminal jurisdiction (rather than the military criminal jurisdiction) following a tutela action filed by Jenni Alejandra Medina, Dilan’s mother.

Asuntos Legales adds: “According to Cruz’s relatives, the fact that the case was in the hands of the military criminal justice system created more gaps in the investigation and made the revictimization deeper.”

Dilan’s sister Denis says: “This is a decision that we have been seeking since December 2019 when the Colombian Justice referred the case to the misnamed Military Criminal Justice. Since then, as a family, we have had to suffer obstacles for the process to move forward.”

The CSPP comments: “As a judicial accompanying organization in the case, we welcome this decision [by the Constitutional Court] as an assertive first step in the search for truth and justice on the part, not only of Dilan’s family, but for all victims of the Public Force in Colombia, specifically within the framework of the exercise of social protest.”

But the CSPP also cautions: “Although this decision opens the door to the way to clarify what happened, we know that the fight for justice, truth and guarantees of non-repetition continue, so we hope, and we demand, that, in this new scenario, the Attorney General’s Office, guarantee an independent, truthful and effective investigation, order the re-assignment of the investigation to a Specialized Prosecutor, which will allow the full participation of the rights of the victims of State crimes in Colombia.”

The family of 16-year-old Eishia Hudson killed by a Winnipeg police officer on April 9, 2020 spoke at this media conference in Ottawa yesterday. For more, click here.

PBI-Colombia has accompanied the CSPP since 1998.

Share This Page
Categories: News Updates


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *