On the 8th of September, police arrested a lawyer and father of two, Javier Ordóñez, for going out with friends during COVID-19 restrictions; he was pinned down, and subjected to electrocution for minutes on end. He begged the police to stop what they were doing, but the police paid him no attention. He would go on to die in the hospital.
Protests & Riots
Outrage immediately swept the capital, Bogota, and soon an insurrection was underway. Most of the capital fell under protester control, with only Bolivar Plaza remained, where Parliament is situated. Police quickly lost control of the situation to the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who had gone out in honor of Javier Ordóñez. The military mobilized as it had during the 2019 protests, arrived in the streets a few days after the protests had begun.
Police Brutality & Crimes Against Humanity
Police brutality was present in Colombia since the start of the protests, and it became very, very clear that the government’s aim was to suppress the protests, not satisfy them. They began to use live ammunition and severe beatings, and the death toll reflects that. 5 people died on the first night; 4 shot dead, 1 beaten to death. 80 people were injured; 24 by police-administered gunshots, about 56 to police beatings and brutality. Many more deaths are expected soon as the police is actively using live ammunition.
Protester Response to Police Brutality
Despite threat of police violence, more militant protests have begun throughout Bogota, and sabotage of police operations have begun, especially by tripping up or assaulting police on motorcycles or other vehicles.
Indigenous Colombians took to the streets to protest the inaction by the Duque administration to combat massacres of natives by government-funded paramilitaries. They also demonstrated against the false positives crisis that severely impacted disabled indigenous people. Natives and Afro-Indigenous Colombians were a swing vote in the election, and a failure on their part to vote for Duque could lead for him to lose reelection.
The hacktivist group Anonymous, which was active during the June uprising in America, has commenced attacks against the Colombian government and has released statements against the Defense Minister, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, who commanded the 9th of September Massacre of over 13 citizens within 24 hours. Anonymous also hacked into the former president and widely-accused genocidal megalomaniac Alvaro Uribe’s website, with over 9,000 bots DDos-ing the website as soon as it did come back online.
Anonymous, a group that was seen to be very present in the early stages of the George Floyd Uprising in the United States, has returned to attack the Colombian police’s websites, taking them down for hours, and in some instances, whole days. The websites of the Defense Ministry and the National Police were taken down.
As a general strike rips through Colombia, the protests continue, as well as solidarity demonstrations and indigenous uprisings centered around Cauca. Demonstrations have also begun against the old Uribe regime, which has been widely criticized for human rights violations.
Protests have calmed down, although they are likely to flare back up after a massacre of protesters in Bogota on which there is currently no information. The indigenous people of Cauca in the Misak ethnicity took down a conquistador statue on the 17th as well.
Police have not killed anyone more since the September 12th update, but ~50 more injuries have occurred as well as several dozen arrests. Protesters are consolidating their areas of control over Bogota, and are still in the streets in Bucaramanga and Medellin. Protests have also been sparked by allegations of sexual violence against arrested women in Bogota.
The protests in Colombia have broadened to a national appeal, and have become more organized. 14 people have been killed so far, and the injury toll has increased above 400. Protesters have burned down over 56 police stations, and many of them have been converted into People’s Libraries and community centers.
After 36 hours, the police in Colombia have killed 5 more protesters, and injured ~60 more. 20 police stations have been burned down, and police are as of right now actively using live rounds on protesters; paramilitaries have also been filmed working with the police.
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