After Demise of Javier Ordoñez, Violence Erupts in Bogota
The video circulating on social media confirmed a person pinned to the bottom by Colombian cops, who shocked him repeatedly with a stun gun for greater than two minutes. “Please, no more,” he begged.
The person, Javier Ordóñez, a father of two, died shortly afterward in police custody. Inside 24 hours, hundreds of Colombians had taken to the streets of the capital, Bogotá, in protests in opposition to police violence that started late Wednesday and continued into Thursday, laying naked months of pent-up rigidity.
Dozens of police stations have been set on fireplace or vandalized. Not less than eight extra folks have been killed, and practically 400 have been injured, based on the police. Not less than 66 folks had bullet accidents.
Almost all the folks killed within the protests have been younger, between the ages of 17 and 27. The police stated the deaths have been beneath investigation, and declined to say whether or not officers have been concerned.
Town’s mayor, Claudia López, referred to as the protest deaths, “a bloodbath of our younger folks.”
The protests comply with months of pandemic-related lockdowns in a rustic of about 50 million folks, prompting an financial disaster that has pushed thousands and thousands to the brink.
The outpouring additionally comes amid years of anger over alleged abuses by the safety forces, and within the wake of protests over police violence in america, which have been broadly publicized within the area.
“Javier was the straw that broke the camel’s again,” stated Eliana Garzón, Mr. Ordóñez’s sister-in-law. “However that is the buildup of years of anger.”
Ms. Garzón stated that Mr. Ordóñez was a father of two boys, ages 11 and 15, and was only one examination away from a legislation diploma.
The unrest was the worst the town has seen because the ultimate months of 2019, when the capital erupted in mass protests calling for financial support and reform.
President Iván Duque, a conservative who got here to workplace in 2018, condemned the killings on Thursday, however defended the police in a speech, calling the nation’s safety forces usually “heroic” and “hard-working.”
“We’ve to view these actions as particular person episodes, and never permit voices to rise that stigmatize the whole safety drive,” he stated.
The police in Colombia are a nationwide physique headed by the Ministry of Protection.
The circumstances that led to Mr. Ordóñez’s demise have been contested.
His sister-in-law, Ms. Garzón, stated he had been consuming with mates on Tuesday in his constructing complicated. Close to midnight, Ms. Garzón stated, they headed to the road to restock, in violation of metropolis guidelines to forestall the unfold of the coronavirus. Bogotá bans consuming in public areas and, amid the pandemic, has barred the acquisition of alcohol after 9 p.m.
Alongside the best way, the group was approached by cops, Ms. Garzón stated.
Throughout the video of the encounter between Mr. Ordóñez and the police, folks wanting on from the sidelines could be heard asking the officers to cease hurting him.
“Nobody deserves to die this fashion,” stated Ms. Garzón, who stated her household initially hesitated to inform Mr. Ordóñez’s sons how their father had died. “We would like them to develop up with clear hearts, freed from any anger.”
The boys ultimately came upon the circumstances of their father’s demise by means of social media.
Police Col. Alexander Amaya advised BluRadio that the officers had been responding to a dispute involving a number of individuals who had been consuming.
“They turned aggressive,” stated Colonel Amaya. “The police needed to subdue them.”
A person who stated he was a witness to the encounter, Juan David Uribe, stated in an interview with CityTV that the police account was not true, and that there had been no argument.
“It is a complete lie,” Mr. Uribe stated.
Among the many protesters who died was Jaider Alexander Fonseca, 17, the daddy of an toddler.
Sebastian Sanchez, 17, stated he was with Mr. Fonseca within the streets. In a chaotic second, rocks and bullets started to fly, and Mr. Fonseca tried to guard himself with a door. In line with Mr. Sanchez, a gaggle of officers opened fireplace and Mr. Fonseca fell to the bottom.
His mates dragged him by means of the road and loaded him right into a taxi, however Mr. Fonseca died at a hospital, he stated.
“We really feel so powerless,” Mr. Sanchez stated. “That is the legislation we get?”
Throughout the protests, the police took about 70 folks into custody, most of them in Bogotá, stated a spokesman, Gen. Gustavo Moreno.
“I’m completely conscious that we’d like structural police reform,” Ms. López stated. “However destroying Bogotá is just not going to repair the police.”
The police declined to offer an account of the encounter, saying the matter was beneath investigation.
Anger over police abuses in Colombia spiked final yr amid nationwide protests calling for financial reform.
On the time, Human Rights Watch documented what it referred to as “worrying accounts and proof of abuses by Colombia’s police, together with arbitrary detention and brutal beatings in opposition to peaceable protesters.”
Rancor targeted on the police killing of Dilan Cruz, a 17-year-old shot within the head with a so-called bean bag round meant to be nonlethal.
On Thursday, Normal Moreno stated the drive was within the strategy of investigating practically 2,000 allegations of police abuse involving about 1,400 uniformed members.
Sofía Villamil contributed reporting from Bogotá.
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