In violent protests against police violence in Colombia, at least seven people were killed. Almost a hundred policemen and 55 civilians were also injured. In addition, dozens of police stations and police cars were destroyed.
Especially in the capital Bogotá demonstrators clashed with the police. Also in the cities of Medellin and Cali 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 shops and banks as well as police stations and police cars. 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 police officers, possibly because he violated the coronavirus rules when he was drinking in the street with friends.
Images of his arrest, which have been disseminated on social media, show that policemen repeatedly use a power gun against him and that he begs the police to stop.
(The images can be experienced as shocking.)
After his arrest, Ordonez was taken to the police station, where he was allegedly mistreated by police officers. Because of his injuries he was taken to the hospital, where he died.
The two policemen involved in the arrest of Ordonez were suspended pending the investigation. An autopsy is also being done on Ordonezs body.
President Duque says that abuse of power by the police cannot be tolerated, but he also called for not immediately condemning all police officers.