PBI-Colombia accompanies dhColombia as it continues to seek justice for the killings by police on September 9-10, 2020
Twitter photo: On September 9, PBI-Colombia accompanied dhColombia in its demands for justice and guarantees for social protest 1 year after the violence and police massacre in the Verbenal Park, Bogotá.
On December 14, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project tweeted a Washington Post article about a massacre committed by the Colombian police.
That Washington Post article reported: “Colombia’s national police were responsible for the deaths of 11 people during two days of protests of police brutality last year, according to an independent investigation requested by the mayor of Bogotá and supported by the United Nations.”
It further explains:
“The violence happened on Sept. 9, 2020, as thousands of people poured onto the streets of Bogotá and vandalized police stations to protest the death of Javier Ordóñez.
A video shared on social media that day showed him pinned to the ground, pleading for relief as two police officers shocked him repeatedly with a stun gun. “Please,” he begged. “No more.” He later died of a blow to the head suffered while in police custody.
An estimated 12,000 people took to the streets on Sept. 9 and 10 to protest. Fourteen died, 11 of them at the hands of the police. Seventy-five more suffered gunshot wounds, and hundreds of civilians and police officers were injured. Seventy-six police stations were damaged or destroyed.
At least two of the victims were killed by armed individuals dressed in civilian clothing, the investigators said. It remains unclear whether the armed people were civilians or police in plainclothes.
More than a year after the violence, [researchers] found, fewer than 44 percent of criminal cases connected to the protests and brought before the attorney general’s office are being investigated. Of the 427 active investigations, only 2.5 percent have reached the trial phase.”
This past summer, in relation to the police violence against the national strike protests this year, Canada’s then Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau called on Colombia “to keep its commitment to fully investigate and hold anyone who has violated human rights to account for their actions.”
The evidence continues to suggest that is not happening.
On April 9 of this year, PBI-Colombia accompanied dhColombia along with the Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE) at a sit-in in front of the Consulate of the European Union in Colombia that called on the international community to speak out against the massacre that happened in September 2020.
At that time, dhColombia tweeted: “Never forget, the Massacre of September 9, 2020, was a massacre committed by the State at the hands of the Colombian Police.”
Announcing the results of the investigation this Monday, Chief investigator Carlos Negret accused the Colombian National Police of committing a “massacre.”
We continue to follow this with concern.
PBI-Colombia has been accompanying the Associated Network of Human Rights Defenders (dhColombia) since its founding in 2016.
On September 13, 2020, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “PBI accompanies @dhColombia in an act of solidarity for Manuel Acevedo Fernández, victim of two gunshot wounds during the protests of the last week.”