The United Nations report confirming that members of the Colombian National Police massacred at least 11 young people during the protests of 9 and 10 September 2020 in Bogota is a disgrace for the state and becomes the best argument for insisting on removing the armed forces from the Ministry of Defence.
Similarly, this observation should lead to substantial changes in the requirements for incorporating new police officers and, of course, modifications to the training manual used in officer and non-commissioned officer training schools, as it seems that its contents are based on the official narrative, recreated by the government of Ivan Duque, with which young people protesting and demanding their rights have been elevated to the status of the new internal enemy. With what happened on that fateful night in the country’s capital, the always-discussed Weberian paradigm of the legitimate use of force by the state was pulverised by the police who murdered the 11 citizens.
The evidence shows that these police officers not only misread the complex scenario they faced but acted as hired assassins.
Similarly, the crimes committed during the National Strike of 2021 contribute to the inapplicability of Max Weber’s thesis, since the Colombian state, as a whole, has historically become illegitimate.
What happened on 9 September made it clear that the police acted outside the law, with the consent, by action or omission, of their commanders and of the Mayor of Bogota herself, Claudia Lopez, whose authority was not only disregarded, but who herself misread the convulsive public order situation that was taking place.
It is difficult to say whether the mayor’s tears are sincere or whether, on the contrary, they are the result of a political calculation. What is clear is that her moral authority has been further weakened by the confirmation that this massacre is just another expression of the violent behaviour of the (pro-Uribe) political regime, headed by Iván Duque Márquez.
A regime that acts with the clear purpose of violating human rights, disregarding citizens’ freedoms and insisting that young people are Colombia’s new internal enemy.
There is no doubt that the Colombian state is a cruel victimiser, a serial killer and an order that operates under a sickly military logic.
An opprobrious regime has been operating in Colombia for a long time, which has managed to hide its practices similar to those of the dictatorships of the Southern Cone, under the media and political narrative that we are the oldest democracy in Latin America. Undoubtedly, the biggest lie we have swallowed for years.
The worst thing about this whole situation is that the police who murdered the youths probably do not understand what a democratic rule of law is. Perhaps in their bland training they were only taught how to shoot, because I doubt they read anything about state theory. Perhaps they were trained under the protocols and guidelines of the School of the Americas.