Colombia using terrorism to quell anti-government protests

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Colombia’s third largest city Cali has been militarized since Wednesday after an apparent state terrorism campaign to quell anti-government protests.

Defense Minister Diego Molano sent 700 policemen and 300 soldiers on Wednesday to end violence in Cali, but ended up further escalating terror in the city after new protests on Thursday.

The terror campaign that sought to quell anti-government protests is the fourth since President Ivan Duque‘ took office in 2018 and the second in Cali.

Molano oversaw the terror campaign from a police monitoring unit named after late Defense Minister “Carlos Holmes Trujillo” who oversaw a police massacre in Bogota last year.

Colombia’s defense minister leaves evidence of orchestrating terrorism online

Anti-government protesters began gathering to march in opposition of President Ivan Duque’s proposed tax reform on Wednesday around 8AM, not knowing that the police and gangs would sabotage the protest together.

The 29-year-old Myriam Kristina Mosquera, a fashion designer taking part in the protest, the members of the alleged said gangs began assaulting protesters, buses and shops around 10AM.

In the morning, it all started really beautiful, but around 10AM they began to burn buses.

Myriam Kristina Mosquera

According to Mayor Jorge Ivan Ospina, “vandals divided the city into different areas and began to carry out a kind of sting operation throughout the morning… not only did they disrupt everything that had been planned for the day, but they also carried out a criminal operation.

Unfortunately, while large majorities went out to mobilize exercising their right to protest, other people prepared and acted to vandalize the city, damaging important elements in a premeditated, irresponsible and criminal manner.

Cali Mayor Jorge Ivan Ospina

What neither the mayor nor the protester knew was that police was actively involved in Wednesday’s violence, and was carrying out attacks on civilians while gangs attacked buses and shops.

Around 8AM, police carried out the first attack when firing teargas on protesters who wanted to take part in the protest and had gathered in the north of the city.

Former President Alvaro Uribe, the president’s boss and a former associate of the Medellin Cartel, began reporting alleged riots around 9AM as members of his far-right Democratic Center party began a campaign calling for the militarization of the city.

Starting at 9AM, Uribe and his far-right followers blamed the protesters for what the mayor later called “premeditated” violence throughout the city carried out by unidentified men that also attacked anti-government protesters.

While the participants of the march were protesting peacefully, Uribe and his far-right allies began reporting on the burning of buses that was part of “the protest in Cali,” according to the former Medellin Cartel associate.

As violence escalated throughout the city, a policeman assassinated a 17-year-old boy in the west of Cali who had kicked the cop.

Meanwhile, unidentified men were attacking the protesters and terrorizing the city center where they set fire to banks and looted supermarkets.

Police was present at the protests and permitted the attacks of the unidentified men against the protesters, according to one participant, who asked to remain anonymous.

While Uribe was hyping the violence, Molano was overseeing the terror campaign from the security monitor center in Bogota .

Around 11AM, the minister said he would send four riot police units to Cali, claiming “we are not going to tolerate acts of violence” unlike the Cali Police Department.

After arrival, the units of the loathed ESMAD unit attacked peaceful protesters in an attempt to end the protests while the violence in the rest of the city continued.

A little after 1PM, the defense minister said he would send in another 850 policemen and 450 soldiers “to control the situation” and “bolster security” the Cali Police Department seemed to ignore.

Cali’s mayor announced a 3PM curfew after which the military took the streets. Local police were nowhere to be seen.

In the evening, the defense minister claimed that “the people of Cali can sleep calmly,” and announced that another 700 cops and 300 soldiers would arrive in the morning.

By then, 14 buses and 18 bus stations had gone up in flames, 50 buses had been vandalized, forcing the Transport Secretary to suspend public transport.

According to Interior Minister Daniel Palacios, “everything was normal throughout the entire national territory,” except in Cali and the surrounding Valle del Cauca province.

Throughout the national territory everything was normal, with the exception of Cali and Valle del Cauca, where organized, systematic and criminal vandalism has attempted to affect private and public property and transportation.

Interior Minister Daniel Palacios

President Ivan Duque, contradicted the minister, and blamed the violence that in Cali was carried out with the complicity of the police on the anti-government protesters.

We understand the constitutional right to peaceful expression of citizens, but what we have seen in many places is criminal vandalism; violence is not going to solve any of the challenges we have, and it cannot be the mechanism of expression.

President Ivan Duque

According to human rights organization Defender la Libertad, 49 people were injured, 73 people were arrested and 10 human rights defenders were assaulted by police throughout Colombia.

In Cali, three people were murdered, according to the human rights organization.

The National Strike Committee, which organized protests throughout Colombia, called for renewed protests throughout Colombia, including Cali, for Friday.

This time, the Cali police department took over from the unidentified groups and indiscriminately opened fire on civilians to prevent any protest, according to multiple human rights organizations and lawmakers.

The blatant use of terrorism by the police infuriated lawmakers who accused the far-right president of being “fascist.”

Fascists, they believe they own the country and the lives of the people.

Senator Wilson Arias

Duque, whose defense ministers have embarked on four terrorism campaigns to quell protests against his government’s policies, on Friday said he wouldn’t send COVID-19 vaccines to Cali citing the unrest overseen by his defense minister.

Colombia News | Colombia Reports

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