Article by PBI-Canada
The Colombian human rights organization Temblores has documented that Colombian public forces have committed 639 homicides between 2017 and 2019.
On February 26, Regional Corporation for the Defense of Human Rights (CREDHOS) tweeted: “Day against #BrutalidadPolicial [police brutality] in #Barrancabermeja we demand the dismantling of #ESMAD.”
This follows 24-year-old filmmaker Gareth Steven Sella losing 90 percent of the vision in his left eye after being shot by the police at a protest in Bogotá against police brutality, impunity, and state terrorism on February 24.
In Colombia, the National Police are part of the Defence Ministry.
In December 2019, the Colombian NGO Temblores reported that the ESMAD had killed 34 people since its inception in 1999.
This includes 21-year-old Jhonny Silva-Aranguren and 14-year-old Nicolas Neira who were both killed by the ESMAD in 2005.
18-year-old Dilan Cruz was killed by the ESMAD in November 2019.
Most of those killed by the ESMAD have been activists within Indigenous, student, or peasant movements and none have resulted in a conviction.
Temblores has also documented that Colombian public forces have committed 639 homicides between 2017 and 2019. That includes killings by the Armed Forces, the Police, and the intelligence services.
In October 2020, PBI-USA co-organized a webinar with other PBI entities titled: Police violence has no borders. It included speakers from Colombia, Canada, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Kenya speaking on the issue of police violence.
PBI-Colombia has accompanied CREDHOS since 1994.