The European Union (EU) is concerned about the deaths of dozens of protesters during the protests that broke out in Colombia on April 28, and trusts the government’s commitment that those responsible “They will render accounts”, Special Envoy Eamon Gilmore said Thursday.
The bloc’s representative met in Bogotá with President Iván Duque, in the midst of the bloody crisis that brought popular rejection of the government for its handling of the health and economic emergency caused by the pandemic.
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“I spoke to the president about the concern we have in Europe about the death of the protesters“Gilmore said according to the translation of his statement in English, at the end of the meeting with the Colombian president.
At least 61 people have died since the protests began, according to civil authorities and the Human Rights Ombudsman. Two of the deceased were in uniform.
Gilmore highlighted Duque’s commitment to “ensure” the “accountability” of those responsible for the homicides that have clouded the demonstrations, and that in several cases involve state agents.
Duque unleashed popular anger when he wanted to raise taxes to finance, according to the government, aid to those most affected by the pandemic. The president gave up his idea, but the repression of the protests fueled discontent.
According to the Ministry of Defense, about 2,500 people, including civilians and members of the public force, have suffered injuries during the mobilizations.
Although the government recognizes 21 homicides, the NGO Human Rights Watch maintains that it received “credible complaints” about 68 deaths in the framework of the protests, of which 20 occurred at the hands of the police, and among them 16 were by bullets fired with the intention of “killing.”
The HIM-HER-ITThe United States and several international NGOs have denounced the disproportionate use of force by the authorities in the protests.
After their meeting this Thursday, the Colombian president thanked the “clarity and frankness” of the representative of the EU, and said his government guarantees “peaceful protest” but rejects the “vandalism, urban terrorism and destruction” that have followed the demonstrations.
The president appreciated that EU Accompany the policy “of zero tolerance for any individual conduct, by a member of the public force, that is contrary” to respect for human rights.
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