In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic that has caused more than 20,000 deaths and has infected more than 700,000 people, the situation in Colombia is deeply worrying; abuse of power, repression, vandalism and a government failing to act.
The most recent demonstrations in Colombia in respect of the murder of the lawyer Javier Ordóñez by the police are the result of an accumulation of outrage that go beyond the expectations set out in the Peace Agreement, analysts say.
The murder of Ordoñez by members of the police caused numerous protests in the capital and in almost every city in the country. Many ended in the death of 13 people, amongst them a 17-year-old, and hundreds injured.
Hours of videos confirm what happened.
For investigators, political opponents, columnists and political scientists, this reaction in the country, with some similarities to the protests in November last year, go way beyond the murder of Ordoñez.
In 2020, with more than 50 massacres and dozens of deaths, the majority of them young, the forced eradication of illegal crops instead of substituting them with land to grow food and timber, as promised in the Peace Agreement, has caused clashes between farmers and the army, also resulting in deaths and injuries.
The killing of approximately 300 ex-combatants reintegrated into civilian life since the signing of the Peace Agreement in 2016, the rape of indigenous girls by soldiers and other similar atrocities which the army is fully aware of, are sufficient causes of the resulting outrage in the country.
But what are the authorities doing? What is Iván Duque’s government doing? Where are the investigators, the accused and the prisoners for such crimes, some of which could be considered as crimes against humanity?
Each response is understated; the government and Duque himself call the massacres “collective homicides”, the police reform that the people are crying out for, they call “modernisation”, and nothing happens.
The senator for the Green Alliance, Antonio Sanguino, stresses that the police need to be reformed, the police needs to be a public force to defend, protect and guarantee human rights, not to violate them.
Impunity is a fact and, according to the opposition, they are tearing up the Peace Agreement, particularly those elements concerning the government.
The FARC revolutionary party reiterates that it will comply with this agreement which became the beacon of hope for peace for this country.
The ex-senator and defender of human rights Piedad Córdoba stresses that president Iván Duque, in his dual role as head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces, is responsible for stopping this wave of violence that is drowning Colombia in blood.
Similarly, the senator of the Alternative Democratic Pole, Iván Cepeda, holds Duque responsible for all of these criminal acts, and assured that the criminal actions planned by the police and the army are not spontaneous or ‘exceptional’ but systematic and generalised. (PL)