More ESMAD terror in Colombia

On Sept. 22, a student protest at Cali’s Universidad del Valle was brutally attacked by the Colombian National Police special anti-riot unit, the Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squad (ESMAD), which brought in an armored vehicle and fired live ammunition, hurled tear-gas cannisters and beat students with clubs. One chemistry student, Jhony Silva Aranjuren, 21, was mortally wounded and died later in the hospital; several others were also wounded. The students were protesting the cut-off of potable water to the Corregimiento de Villa Gorgona, a village in Candelaria municipality outside Cali, and aggressions against the civil population. (Red de Defensores No-Institucionalizados, Sept. 22)

The violence comes just as the International Commission of Jurists has released a report charging: “The policies of the Colombian government in the last three years has contributed to the dismantling of the rule of law and to the consolidation of impunity.” It especially cited the “Peace and Justice” law granting a limited amnesty to paramilitary groups. (Red de Defensores, Sept. 22)

The special riot squad was responsible for the death of another young protester earlier this year. See our last report on ESMAD terror.

See our last post on Colombia.