The goelected government of Colombia will transform or delete the Mobile Riot Squads (Esmad) of the police, before the violations of human rights committed during the repression of the protests in recent years, announced this Monday the designated minister of Defending.
“What I can assure you is that it will be done with the greatest responsibility, (whether) it is the suppression or the transformation of Esmad, but always from a perspective (…) a force that has to absolutely respect human rights and that cannot see in the demonstrators the enemy”said andthe future boss from the portfolio, Ivan Velasquezin an interview with W Radio.
He added that instead of current squads would enter operate a new anti-turbidity body that in principle will have “that respect the protest“.
with little more than 5,000 troops, the Esmad is a special force created two decades ago to control demonstrations Y crowds.
In the last years it’s been hard questioned for the abuses on the containment of the massive protests faced by the outgoing government of Iván Duque (2018-2022).
In a report issued at the end of 2021the UN denounced “serious violations” of human rights by state agents in the demonstrations of that year.
The body documented the death of at least 28 civilians at the hands of public forceto, as well as arbitrary arrests and sexual assaults and of gender.
As a result, he recommended Colombian state carry out “a trdeep transformation of Esmad”a request that the left-wing president-elect picked up in his campaign Gustav Petro, who He will take office on August 7.
Likewise, the management incoming wants the police get out of Ministry of Defence, taking into account that it is a armed civilian body Y not a military force, despite the fact that it also fights illegal groups in the framework of the prolonged internal conflict in the country.
In this regard, the future defense minister anticipated that the police would pass to be part of a “special ministry” of peace, coexistence and security.
Velásquez, a renowned investigator who chaired the UN commission against corruption in Guatemala, anticipated that the process will be gradual and under “great planning.”
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