Colombia used 'excessive force' against protesters, says human rights report

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(CNN)An planetary quality rights assemblage has accused Colombia's information forces of applying "disproportionate and excessive force," successful dealing with thoroughfare protesters, much than 2 months since demonstrations began successful Bogota, which near dozens dead.

The study by the Inter-American Commission connected Human Rights (IACHR), released connected Wednesday, adds to criticisms of the authorities of Colombian President Ivan Duque, who has faced accusations of a heavy-handed crackdown since protests erupted connected April 28.

The protests were sparked by a arguable taxation overhaul Duque projected arsenic portion of the country's betterment from the economical fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. Critics argued the changes would wounded the mediate class.

    Riot constabulary  clash with protesters successful  Medellin, Colombia, connected  June 2.

    The taxation betterment has since been abandoned. But marches and demonstrations person lone accrued successful standard and gait over a bid of issues, including the country's chronic income inequality and allegations of constabulary brutality.

      According to quality rights organizations successful Colombia, much than 70 radical person been killed connected the streets since the protestation begun, they assertion often astatine the hands of the Colombian information forces.

      However, the Colombian Attorney General disputes those figures, saying that lone 24 deaths person been proven to beryllium linked to the protests. In a connection to CNN, Colombia's National Police said it had opened investigations implicit 16 cases of alleged murders astatine the manus of constabulary agents.

      The Colombian Foreign Ministry connected Wednesday published a connection rejecting immoderate of the actions recommended by the IACHR, saying that "the lethal cases involving members of the information forces are exceptional."

      Police officers spray a h2o  cannon astatine  demonstrators during a protestation  successful  Bogota, Colombia, connected  June 9,

      Duque besides addressed the study successful person, claiming that "nobody tin urge a state to beryllium tolerant with transgression acts."

      He said Colombia was a state that "respect the peaceful protest." But added that "the acts of vandalism, municipality terrorism, and the roadblocks are being confronted with the constitution and the law."

      The IACHR investigates allegations of quality rights maltreatment successful the American Hemisphere nether the Organization of American States. It has cited information forces' usage of non-lethal weapons toward protesters arsenic a peculiarly worrying origin of injuries and mutilations.

      'My member is dead'

      Marlin Niño's brother, Brayan, died connected May 1 successful Madrid, a suburb of Bogota, aft helium was deed by a state canister changeable by a constabulary vehicle. After his death, the Colombian lawyer wide arrested a constabulary large connected charges of murdering the 24-year-old protester.

      Prior to his detention, the politician spoke with section media and lamented the decease of the protesters, but claimed helium followed constabulary protocols successful dealing with thoroughfare demonstrations.

      Amid escalating violence, Colombia sends successful  troops

      His lawsuit is 1 of sixteen cases of alleged execution astatine the hands of the constabulary that are being investigated, the Police Inspector General told CNN successful a statement.

      In an exclusive interrogation with CNN anterior to the work of the IACHR report, Colombia's Justice Minister Wilson Ruiz pledged that the Colombian authorities would amusement zero tolerance toward constabulary abuses. He welcomed the Attorney General's probe arsenic an accidental to contiguous grounds to the full country.

      But Niño's sister Marlin told CNN successful June that she fears determination whitethorn beryllium nary consequences for her brother's death.

      "Sometimes I americium truthful overwhelmed I conscionable don't privation to cognize immoderate much and beryllium implicit it. My brother's dead... but astatine the aforesaid clip I archer myself: contiguous is my brother, time who other could it be?" she said.

      Laura Guerrero, parent  of Nicolas Guerrero, who was killed during clashes with riot constabulary  astatine  a protestation  against a taxation  betterment   bill, attends with her hubby  a vigil successful  grant   of their son, successful  Cali, Colombia, connected  May 3, 2021.

      The IACHR study urges Colombia to effort cases involving allegations of constabulary brutality successful civilian courts, alternatively than subject tribunals to debar the condition of agents being tried by chap servicemen.

      Niño's lawsuit is being investigated by some the mean Attorney General's bureau and subject justness attorneys

      Even earlier the merchandise of the report, President Duque had announced a betterment of the constabulary which includes further accountability mechanics and further grooming for the agents successful the areas of quality rights, 1 of the recommendations made by the IACHR.

      The choler  driving Colombia's protestation  question   isn't going distant  anytime soon

      But Duque has truthful acold resisted the proposal that Colombia abstracted its constabulary unit from the Ministry of Defense, which oversees each information forces successful the country.

      Ingrid Betancourt, a erstwhile statesmanlike campaigner who was kidnapped and held for much than six years by rebel guerrillas successful the aboriginal 2000s, besides points to enduring war-like mentality arsenic the adjacent situation up for the reeling nation.

        "This is portion of what we could person expected, knowing that we were introducing radical from the warfare to the civilian nine and that we needed to set our institutions," she told CNN.

        "And present that radical don't perceive the dependable of the weapon machines, they privation to beryllium successful the streets protesting for their rights, and that I deliberation it's good."

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