7 may 2021
Statement of the Global Campaign on the Human Rights violations in Colombia during the National Strike
The Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity resoundly condemns the state of violence that is being unleashed against the people of Colombia, who from 28 April 2021 have taken part in a National Strike, exercising their legitimate right to social protest and to freedom of expression.
The mobilization of Colombian society is a direct response and rejection of neoliberal tax measures that diminish and restrict the rights and well-being of working people, promoting a false sense of stability that is really at the service of elites and corporate powers. The response by the State, in attempting to silence the voice of a people who cry out for respect and justice, has been brutally violent — militarizing the main cities of the country, stigmatizing and criminalizing protest, and murdering civilians.
From The Global Campaign, representing more than 200 social organizations, movements and unions around the world who are committed to justice and people’s sovereignty.
The violence and brutality of the Colombian Armed Forces and the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad of the National Police (ESMAD), which has resulted in 1708 cases of police violence: 222 victims of physical violence, 37 victims of homicide, 831 arbitrary arrests against protesters, 312 violent interventions, 22 victims of eye injuries, 110 cases of firearms being used, 10 victims of sexual violence and more than 370 reported cases of disappearances. Fighting for the right to a dignified life is not a crime!
- The immediate cessation of police and military violence.
- The immediate dismantling of ESMAD, which is becoming a paramilitary force protected by the State to legitimize and reproduce structural social, gender-based and generational violence.
- The liberation of detainees, most of whom are residents of working-class neighborhoods.
- The protection of the life and integrity of people who protest legitimately.
- Justice and reparations for victims and their families.
- Immediate investigations into the multiple complaints of forced disappearance in the framework of the protests. We want them back alive!
- Immediate investigations and judicial processes against the police agents who have attacked civilians.
- The definitive withdrawal of the Tax and Health Reform projects.
- The immediate start of a national public dialogue where social organizations, students and the National Strike Committee are represented.
WE CALL ON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY to monitor, ensure compliance and demand adequate guarantees from the Colombian government and all its institutions for the protection of Human Rights and the right to freedom of protest.
We unreservedly support the National Strike, which has vowed to continue mobilizing, demanding transformations, and bringing about an end to the police and military violence that is inflicted on women, young people and all Colombian people. They have legitimately taken to the streets to reject the deepening inequities and structural violence that are suffocating Colombian society, accelerating cycles of oppression that only bring pain and death.
We express our most firm and vigilant SOLIDARITY WITH THE COLOMBIAN PEOPLE, as well as our deepest admiration for the defiant masses who dare not give up the fight for dignity or give in to the injustice and despotism of the State.