RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Ombudsman’s Office has received a report of 42 deaths during the protests against the Colombian government that has completed 14 days in the country, as reported Tuesday in a document in which it also stated that 168 people reported missing are still unaccounted for.
Of the 42 fatalities known to the institution, 41 correspond to civilians and one more to an agent of the security forces.
As of Friday of last week, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Ombudsman’s Office had confirmed the death of 27 people during the protests, of which 11 are directly linked to the protests, 7 are “in verification,” and 9 are unrelated to the mobilizations.
Due to one of the worst social and political crises the country has experienced, several Colombian organizations launched a call for help to the international community. They denounced the excesses of the public forces committed since April 28, when the mobilizations began.
According to the NGO Temblores, during the protests, there have been 40 cases of victims of “homicidal violence” by the security forces and at least 1,956 cases of physical violence, including 28 eye assaults, as well as 12 cases of sexual violence.
Given these denunciations, the country’s high commissioner for peace, Miguel Ceballos, said today that “there will be zero tolerance for any violation of the Constitution and the law” by “public officials and also by the security forces”.
He also announced that the Government is willing to start a cycle of permanent talks with the National Strike Committee, the main convenor of the strikes, after the first meeting this Monday ended without agreements, according to the spokesmen of the protests, because “there was no empathy from the Government”, which “totally avoided the word negotiation”.
VICTIMS OF CIVILIANS AND THE SECURITY FORCES
Several police officers have been accused of the death of some of the victims, which the Government has committed to investigate independently so that there is no impunity.
In this sense, the National Police Inspectorate began 62 disciplinary investigations in the institution for which three uniformed officers linked to the death of two young people shot during peaceful protests were arrested. At the same time, the Prosecutor’s Office will charge several officers for the homicides of three other civilians.
During the protests, police captain Jesús Alberto Solano was also stabbed to death by criminals in Soacha, a town near Bogotá.
There have also been victims of civilians supposedly opposed to the vandalism who intimidate demonstrators and attack them with shots from vehicles, as was the case of Lucas Villa, a 37-year-old student who died today after being shot eight times last Wednesday in the city of Pereira.
While in the streets, the disturbances continue, with less intensity, especially in the city of Cali; the unions and organizations behind the organization of the national strike of April 28 called again for a day of strike for this Wednesday, May 12.