At least seven people died in violent protests against police violence in Colombia. Nearly one hundred policemen and 55 civilians were also injured. In addition, dozens of police stations and police cars were destroyed.
Particularly in the capital, Bogotá, demonstrators clashed with the police. In the cities of Medellin and Cali, too, police stations were targeted by demonstrators. Five people were killed in Bogotá and two in the suburb of Soacha, reports Reuters news agency. Among them is a boy of 17.
The demonstrators set fire to tyres and rubbish containers, threw stones and incendiary bombs at the police and destroyed not only police stations and police cars but also shops and banks. The police reacted with tear gas and flash grenades to disperse the crowds.
The reason for the protests is the death of the 46-year-old engineer and lawyer Javier Ordonez in a violent arrest. Ordonez was stopped at night in Bogotá by two policemen, possibly because he broke the coronavirus rules when he was drinking in the streets with friends.
Images of his arrest, which have been circulated on social media, show that policemen repeatedly use a power gun against him and that he begs the police to stop.
(The images may be experienced as shocking.)
After his arrest, Ordonez was taken to the police station, where he was allegedly mistreated by officers. Because of his injuries, he was taken to the hospital, where he died.
The two officers involved in the arrest of Ordonez were suspended pending the investigation. An autopsy is also being carried out on the body of Ordonez.
President Duque says that abuse of power by the police cannot be tolerated, but he also called for not immediately condemning all policemen.