‘No impunity’ for Colombia cops abuses, nationwide director states

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'No impunity' for Colombia police abuses, national director says

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Members of Colombia’s nationwide police who are accountable for abuses or acts of violence amidst continuous demonstrations will be penalized to the complete degree of the law, the head of the force stated.

Demonstrators and human rights groups have actually consistently implicated law enforcement officer of eliminating civilians, extreme usage of force, sexual assault and using guns, both throughout existing demonstrations and previous ones.

Accusations of possible abuse of a small in the city of Popayan have actually stimulated violent demonstrations there today.

“They must respond before the authorities and whoever has knowingly committed a crime; the response will have the full weight of the law,” nationwide cops director General Jorge Luis Vargas informed Reuters in an interview.

“We are the first to reject illegal behavior by an officer and we will ask for forgiveness when there’s a judicial decision,” stated Vargas.

Vargas stated 122 disciplinary procedures have actually been opened versus cops because demonstrations started last month, while 3 have actually been apprehended on murder charges connected to civilian deaths.

“There cannot be, there must not be and there will not be impunity,” stated the 30-year cops veteran.

Accused officers will have due procedure, he stated, including police officers have actually likewise been the victims of physical aggressiveness, gun attacks and one occurrence where a mob set fire to a station.

One policeman has actually passed away and almost 900 have actually been hurt.

Police who have actually stepped in to manage robbery and vandalism throughout demonstrations have actually not utilized guns, Vargas stated. Instead non-lethal weapons are utilized according to nationwide and global guidelines.

Groups like Human Rights Watch state abuse of non-lethal weapons can cause deaths.

Protesters, who initially called marches versus a now-canceled tax strategy, have actually broadened needs to consist of a fundamental earnings, an end to cops violence and chances for youths, to name a few things.

The demonstrations’ death toll is challenged. The human rights ombudsman is examining 41 civilian deaths, while the attorney general of the United States’s workplace has actually verified 14.

Road blockades triggering lacks will be separated by the cops whenever the federal government orders, Vargas stated, duplicating allegations that criminal groups and guerrillas have actually penetrated demonstrations to stir violence.

Leftist political leaders and trainee groups have long required the cops be moved out of defense ministry control, usage of deadly weapons throughout demonstrations be prohibited, the riot cops dissolved and officers linked in abuse be attempted in civilian and not military courts.

Vargas eliminated the dissolution of the riot team however stated he supports more alternatives for penalizing cops abuse.

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