In Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, as well as other cities in Colombia, protesters advanced this Wednesday – May 12 – against the neoliberal policies of the Government of Colombia and the repression exerted by the security forces against protesters.
Several reports of blockades have been reported by people on the ground via Twitter posts but among peaceful protesters, but among peaceful protesters there’s minimal police interference. Over 10,000 Colombians gathered at the Plaza de Bolívar in Bogotá this Wednesday afternoon, demanding justice with many more joining as of 5:00 p.m (CT).
Peaceful demonstrations by the people of Colombia started in late April when labor unions called for a national strike against President Iván Duque Márquez’s proposed (and later withdrawn) tax increase on public services, fuel, wages plus pensions. Protests have only grown since reports of police violence, deaths, disappearances including signs of media suppression.
Temblores, a non-governmental group that tracks police violence, said Tuesday that around 40 homicides were allegedly committed by the security forces. That day Colombia’s human rights ombudsman reported that 24 people had been killed in the protests.
Until night falls upon the people, peace remains. Many hoped to not have a repeat of the brutality that occurred in Colombian cities Ibagué, Santa Marta, Medellín and Cali.
Some links below include videos that contain sensitive footage of police brutality. View with caution.
Around 7:00 p.m (CT), ESMAD police opened fire on unarmed people. In one area of Barranquilla, police used tear gas on a group of civilians near the Romelio Martínez stadium where Junior and River face each other for the Copa Libertadores. In Popayán, Human Rights defenders were detained by public force in Caldas Park around 8:00 p.m (CT).
Around 10 p.m (CT), several boys were taken behind the Alkosto. At 11:00 p.m (CT) police officers in Héroes, Bogotá, detained journalists and Human Rights Defenders occurred. Within the 11 p.m (CT) hours in Portal Américas, shots were fired at a medical line.
While the night means rest for others around the world, Colombian citizens face injustice by the hands of authorities.
As of last night — May 12 — evident abuse of power from Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios (ESMAD) became visible. Many on the ground posting to social media site Twitter, made statements of ESMAD disregarding Human Rights protocol all through the night. As the morning of May 13 uncovered the Republic of Colombia, Fundación Internacional de Derechos Humanos, an independent NGO, released a statement around 12 a.m (CT).
What is to come of the peaceful protests that started April 28, 2021 is unknown to both the Colombian people and those in support of the people.