Colombian Police violently crush Protests against Systemic Racism

Black Lives Matter Protests are met with force

BLM protesters shout their frustration at injustice in Bogota (photo: Joshua Collins)

Black Lives Matter

Inspired in part by Black Lives Matter protests currently sweeping the globe, some youth activists and Afro-Colombian advocacy groups organized a march in the capital of Bogota on June15th. It was a small protest, perhaps at its height numbering 1000 people.

Protesters dancing their way South on Septima on June 15th
Left: a shield wall formed by protesters in bio-security gear. Center: “Down with structural racism” Right: “Black Women resisting. Black Lives Matter”

A Violent Police Riot

As the march approached an overpass near the center of the city, police formed shield walls on both sides of the protest, halting its progress. Police threatened to use force if protesters didn’t disperse. Some in the crowd fled the scene down side ramps to escape the coral, but ESMAD and municipal police were quick to block those exits as well, and the shield wall began closing in. Human Rights observers and city officials pleaded with the police to stop, repeatedly asserting that “These are peaceful protests! We have a right to be here!”

Organizers and Observers pleading with Police not to use force
The second attack by Municipal Police
Protests devolved into melee after repeated police attacks. Someone threw the backboard from a bed at police during the scuffle.
Black-clad riot police, known as ESMAD, surveying the scene after attacking protesters (Photo: Joshua Collins)

A reporter on immigration and world affairs, based in Cucuta, Colombia. Bylines at Al Jazeera, Caracas Chronicles, New Humanitarian and more

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