The Prosecutor’s Office estimates that the damage caused in Popayán (Cauca) has an estimated cost of $ 20,000 million ($ 5.3 million).
Photo: Mauricio Alvarado Lozada
After an investigation of more than seven months, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published its balance of what happened in Colombia between April and July of this year, within the framework of the National Strike. The X-ray is one that is dominated by human rights violations by the public force, disproportionate use of force, assassinations, torture and humiliation. In addition to this approach, the report compiled the figures that the Colombian government has condensed on acts of violence against soldiers throughout the country.
(In context: Police used sexual violence to punish and humiliate in the National Strike: UN)
With cut to July 31, the calculations indicate that three policemen died. Details of their cases were compiled in the UN report. One of them is that of the patrolman Carlos Andrés Rincón Martínez, who disappeared on June 3 in Cali and was found dead on June 7 in the Cauca River. The second is that of the police officer Juan Sebastián Briñez Hernández, who died on May 22 in Cali, presumably from a firearm. And the third, the case of Captain Jesús Alberto Solano, who died on April 28 in Soacha by a knife while trying to stop looting. The Office also compiled the case of the death of a CTI agent, Fredy Bermúdez Ortiz.
The investigator was lynched in Cali on May 28 by a group of protesters who accused him of being an infiltrator in the protests. According to the Office’s report, the information provided by the Unified Command Post (PMU) gave a balance of 1,712 uniformed people injured during the demonstrations. “Of these, 1,481 would have been the result of impacts by forceful elements. In 35 cases, the wounds were from a firearm, 65 from an attack with an explosive or incendiary element, seven from chemical agents, 109 from a sharp weapon, and 12 from a traumatic weapon. About 40% of these attacks occurred in Bogotá and 15.8% in Cali, “says the investigation.
(Also read: “It was a police massacre”: report on the 9-S protests, 2020)
Another of the cases that the Office of the High Commissioner compiled was that of an attack suffered by at least 10 policemen, who on May 5 were attacked and locked up in the CAI of the Aurora neighborhood, in Usme (Bogotá), by violent people that later they tried to burn down the facility with the uniformed men still inside. In addition to this serious episode, the report also mentioned one that, at the time, captured headlines and public attention. This is the case of sexual assault of which a police officer in Cali was the victim. “Likewise, official sources reported that 11 police officers reported having been victims of simple kidnapping in the city of Bogotá on May 4,” says the UN.
According to the report, the alleged aggressors of that group of uniformed men were part of the protesters and the Office assured that it followed up on the case. In this same section, the investigation highlights other figures provided by the Presidential Council for Human Rights on the effects of public and private property. The balance indicates that 2,049 destroyed private assets were reported (491 commercial establishments, 463 bank offices, 4445 ATMs, 318 ambulances, among others); 2,492 public assets destroyed (1,416 transportation assets, 277 transportation stations, 179 government infrastructures, 30 cultural assets, among others) and 787 police assets destroyed.
(You might be interested: “It is time for the Police to reform with a human rights approach”: UN)
One of the cities most affected by attacks on property, says the report, was Popayán (Cauca). “The Prosecutor’s Office estimates that the damage caused in this city has an estimated cost of $ 20,000 million (5.3 million dollars). “The Office recalls that States must guarantee the right to life and exercise due diligence to protect people’s lives against deprivation caused by persons or entities whose conduct is not attributable to the State. An important element of the protection of the right to life is the obligation of States, when they are aware or should have known of potentially unlawful deprivations of life, to investigate and, as appropriate, prosecute those responsible for these incidents ”, it concludes The report.
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