Right now, thousands of people in Colombia are risking everything for a better future. They go out to march in fear of losing their lives, being injured, detained or even tortured, all to demand that the government guarantees their right to health and education. Take action and demand that the Colombian Attorney General’s Office investigate the human rights violations and crimes under international law committed in the midst of the National Strike.
Since April 28 2021, people in Colombia have been resisting in a courageous and creative way in a country crossed by inequalities, exclusion and with a latent armed conflict. The government’s response in Cali, one of the epicenters of demonstrations by young people, indigenous communities, and others historically discriminated against has been to punish and repress those who raise their voices.
On the night of May 3, the security forces stormed Siloé – a neighborhood in the city – with lethal weapons to repress those who were demonstrating peacefully. That night at least three people were killed by gunshot wounds, hundreds were injured and several arbitrary arrests were made.
Six days later, on May 9, we verified a coordinated armed attack between police agents and armed civilians against the indigenous minga, resulting in the wounding of an indigenous human rights defender and ten people belonging to Indigenous Peoples. As if this were not enough, on May 28 armed civilians shot at demonstrators in the presence and complicity of National Police agents. That day a dozen young demonstrators were beaten and detained by armed civilians, who then handed them over to the National Police. Several of them denounce having been subjected to torture and cruel and inhuman treatment during this illegal detention.
Every day the punishment for speaking out in Colombia gets stronger and crueler. Act now and demand that the prosecutor’s office investigate those who ordered, tortured, repressed, and arbitrarily detained the people who took to the streets.