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Thursday, February 2, 2023
HomeWorldColombia: At least 28 sexual assaults by police in 2021 protests

Colombia: At least 28 sexual assaults by police in 2021 protests

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These complaints concern incidents that unfolded from April 28 to June 30, 2021, while massive mass demonstrations were taking place against the conservative government of former President Ivan Duque (2018-2022).

At least 28 people were sexually assaulted by police in Colombia during anti-government protests in the spring of 2021, Amnesty International said in a report released Thursday, citing a “pervasive context” of state violence.

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In the 68-page report, the NGO documents these 28 cases among “hundreds of complaints” of “psychological violence, threats of sexual violence, violence due to prejudice against LGBTQI people, contact and sexual harassment, forced removal of clothing, discrimination because of gender, torture and rape”.

These complaints concern incidents that unfolded from April 28 to June 30, 2021, while massive mass demonstrations were taking place against the conservative government of former President Ivan Duque (2018-2022).

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Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the tax hike plan, which was eventually shelved due to popular uprising.

“The state violence faced by the population that demonstrated peacefully to request and demand the exercise of their human rights and the obligation to be accountable is part of a generalized framework” of action against him, said Erica Guevara, the director of the department of Amnesty International responsible for the American continent, during the presentation event of the report in Bogot√°.

Entitled “The police don’t care about me: Sexual and other gender-based violence in the 2021 national strike”, the report gathers testimonies from victims and denounces the “high levels of impunity” of those responsible.

“There was not a single criminal conviction for sexual violence during these protests,” said Anies Kalamar, the general secretary of Amnesty International, judging that “violence on the street then translated into violence in the judicial system.”

The unprecedented social explosion, spearheaded by young people, was very harshly suppressed by the Colombian law enforcement forces. The UN counted at least 46 deaths, stressing that security forces were responsible for “very serious violations” of basic human rights.

RES-EMP

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