Impact | Negative
Probability | High
Civicus Rating | Repressed
The resolution approved by the Ministry of the Interior on October 20, establishes that the protesters must meet with the mayors and governors to explain the reason for the demonstration, in addition to establishing that the police must identify who its leaders or organizers are. Although this regulation is already in force, it is set to be a stopgap measure while the process of preparing another protocol is finalized, which for its part will reflect the ruling issued by the Supreme Court of Justice and specify the way in which the Public Force may apply force in the face of protests.
The protocol also envisages creating a ‘Unified Command Post’ (PMU, in Spanish), a body that will include representatives of the Attorney General’s Office, Migration Colombia, the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare, the Ombudsman’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office, and the District or Municipal Representation. The protocol also puts an obligation on mayors and governors to convene the leaders of the protests in advance, to learn more about the planned action.
Meanwhile, the National Police must identify possible actors infiltrated in the demonstrations, as well as threats or disturbances of public order in advance. When violent acts occur that endanger life or private property, this force may act and intervene according to the principles of necessity, gradualism, proportionality and rationality. On the other hand, protesters will have to report the route they plan to take, the time-frame, and the estimated number of participants. As for the purpose of the demonstrations, these cannot be ‘illegitimate’.
Social and human rights organizations have called for civil society representatives to form part of the PMU set out in the final protocol. Additionally, the Bogotá Oversight Office affirmed that only the legislative branch should be able to determine which reasons for protests are legitimate or not, and the Mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, criticized the measure saying that from now on, protesters should “ask for permission to demonstrate”.