Impact | Negative
Civicus Rating | Repressed
On September 11, Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo announced that he will promote a process of modernization and transformation of the National Police. The statement came after the death of a citizen at the hands of the police in the Colombian capital, followed by a week of social protests in which 10 people lost their lives and more than 370 were injured. The events were condemned at the international level by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Human Rights Watch.
President Iván Duque pointed out that this process will include a review of the protocols that govern the actions of the police with regard to surveillance tasks, the use of force and the use of firearms, in light of international standards for the protection of human rights. It could also involve the submission to Congress of an “Anti-Vandalism Law” bill. For the implementation of the human rights education program, the government would have the support of the Ombudsman’s Office and could receive contributions from the United Nations.
The Mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, who had previously expressed her criticism of the use of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (Esmad) against citizen mobilizations, called for a reform of the security forces. In the legislative sphere, the president of the Senate, Arturo Char, summoned a Special Committee to demand that the Minister of Defense present a report on the situation of national public order. It is possible that this could reactivate the discussion of existing bills for the modernization of the security forces.