Represión de la protesta en Colombia
Peaceful protest in Colombia is often countered with extreme state violence.
Frequent abuses against protesters and bystanders have been documented and verified.
But as PBI Colombia reports here changes to the law are going to create an environment where more abuse is possible.
The new law will “criminalize social protest,” as stated in this PBI Colombia blog, posted in Spanish.
PBI accompanied organizations investigating abuses by ESMAD and has examined changes to the law governing peaceful protest.
Abuses committed against peaceful protesters by the state security forces include: sexual assault, torture, forced confinement, and arson of victims´ homes.
The new law shall increase the maximum penalty for a person who blocks public use of a road from three to five years. And it shall expand the definition of the persons the law applies to include persons directing or assisting. Someone providing food at a blockade could be prosecuted under this law, the PBI Colombia report states.
La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos demands Colombia:
* Respect the right to peaceful protest and not criminalize peaceful protest,
* Create an organization responsible for maintaining the right to peaceful protest that would develop protocols for state security forces attending protests.
* Meet with the CIDH regarding the right to peaceful protest and expression.
PBI Colombia not only accompanies people and organizations threatened by violence, they are documenting and informing the foreign community about systematic abuses.
(I will attempt to post an English link for the PBI Colombia blog if I can find one. If not, the Google translator works quite well for those do not read in Spanish.)