PBI-Colombia accompanies the CSPP and Defend Freedom Campaign during national strike mobilization in Bogota

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On July 20, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “@PBIColombia accompanies in the Portal de las Americas the @CSPP_ [Committee in Solidarity with Political Prisoners] and the @DefenderLiberta in their work as human rights commissions during the day of mobilization.”

El Espectador explains: “Human rights commissions have been fundamental in the dialogue with the District [of Bogota], in order to reach agreements so that during the demonstrations there are guarantees for the protest and for those who participate in it.”

Prior to the mobilization, Óscar Ramírez, the vice-president of the CSPP and a member of the Defend Freedom Campaign, commented: “We hope that they will be mostly peaceful, democratic and massive mobilizations. However, we view with concern the climate of stigmatization generated by the National Government, the Attorney General’s Office, Municipal Governors and particularly by the Police.”

(Ramirez, a Bogota-based lawyer, also spoke on this PBI-Canada organized webinar about the national strike on June 3.)

Now, AFP reports: “Thousands of Colombians returned to the streets on Tuesday [July 20] to protest against President Ivan Duque’s government.”

“Protesters in several cities marked Colombia’s independence day by demanding police reform and greater support from the government in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen the poverty rate rise from 37 to 42 percent.”

That article further notes: “The demonstration was called by the influential National Strike Committee that represents indigenous people, trade unions and students, among others. The group had suspended its protests on June 15 but vowed to kick them off again on the nation’s independence day with the aim of taking demonstrators’ demands to Congress.”

AFP had also reported that more than 6,000 police officers and 2,700 soldiers would be deployed to police the 35 events in Bogota.

PBI-Colombia has accompanied the CSPP since 1998.

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