Colombian police were directly responsible for the deaths of 11 protesters during anti-police brutality demonstrations in the capital in September 2020, an independent report backed by the United Nations (UN) found.
The 177-page report published on Dec. 13 found that the killings by the Colombian National Police (PNC) amounted to a “massacre.”
Chief investigator Carlos Negret, who was a former ombudsman in Colombia, reiterated that the UN defines massacre as a situation that “takes place when three or more people are murdered in the same incident and by the same perpetrator.”
“The PNC openly dismissed any principle of proportionality or absolute necessity in using lethal force,” Negret wrote in the report.
Negret described the violence that swept the city of Bogota on Sept. 9 to 10 last year as “one of the most serious episodes of violations against human rights” in the city.
In a statement to CNN, the PNC said that they were “mostly interested in having justice delivered and those responsible for those events… must be punished.”
Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez, who requested the investigation onto the deaths, said the report was “painful for the soul, but it’s a necessary step to rescue and recover the state of our democracy.”
Lopez said in a response included in the report that she was also to blame for the deaths.
“Who should assume political responsibility? Me, to begin with. But also the Police and the president of the Republic,” Lopez said.
Duque had painted protesters as “urban terrorists” as he and other political leaders tried to link the protesters to illegal armed forces and organized criminal groups.
The protests began when a video on social media showed police officers tasering Javier Ordonez who later died of a blow to the head while in police custody.
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