Two Colombian Senators are in Washington today to make a plea to U.S. authorities to stop providing funding and resources for Colombian state security forces while it slaughters citizens participating in ongoing anti-neoliberal protests.
Senators Gustavo Bolivar and Alexander López announced their arrival in Washington DC on Monday, May 17th, as part of what Senator Bolivar referred to as “a big agenda to try to stop the police abuses in Colombia,” adding that the he and Senator López were heading into a meeting with the Chair of the U.S. Congressional Human Rights Commission, James McGovern. The meeting, which Bolivar says is the first in-person appointment given to a Colombian in a year, takes place on the 20th consecutive day of mass mobilizations and hours after another night of deadly repression carried out by Ivan Duque’s ESMAD in Yumbo, Valle de Cauca.
In a video published on social media, Senator López said that U.S. citizens are funding massacres against Colombian people, while Duque’s Ambassador has guilty of a coverup:
“What’s happening in our country must be known by the world but especially the government and Congress of the United States which supports with important (funding) resources for the military forces. We came here to the Congressional Human Rights Commission to make an appeal that those resources be frozen and not sent to Colombia. It can’t be that with resources of the people of the United States that they are massacring the Colombian people. Meanwhile, the Ambassador here in Washington who has been mentioned as participating and being linked to paramilitary groups wants to hide the truth. The world needs to know how they’re slaughtering our youth who demand education, who demand work and who demand rights. Stop the slaughter in Colombia!”
Reports from Yumbo emerged on social media around 12:30am stating that ESMAD had once again unleashed on demonstrators, with several livestreams showing scenes of violent repression. By the time the shooting began, many of the protests around the country had cooled down for the night and much of the country had gone to bed. The situation resulted in at least two dozen wounded or hospitalized and at least one confirmed killed (reported as of noon Monday), while several families had to leave their homes gasping for air after police launched tear gas into several homes.
Colombian Senator Ivan Cepeda and NGOs, including Temblores, presented a report to the United Nations and the International Criminal Court compiling acts of violence committed by Colombian security forces during the demonstrations. Among the countless violent crimes committed by the Duque regime is a growing list of killings and extremely serious cases of rape and sexual violence of women by Colombian police.