Unrest Breaks Out

Sep 11, 2020

Overnight on 9-10 September 2020, unrest broke out in the capital Bogotá and other cities in Colombia over the death of a man in police custody. Protests initially broke out in Bogotá in the evening hours of 9 September following the release of a video that showed police officers in the Engativá neighborhood repeatedly using a stun gun on the man after arresting him for allegedly violating coronavirus-related social distancing rules. Clashes occurred in the Engativá area, where hundreds of protesters gathered outside a police post that was used to hold the man before authorities transported him to a hospital. Violence also occurred in the nearby neighborhoods of Bosa, Kennedy, Suba, Teusaquillo, Usaquén and Villa Luz. During the protests, looters allegedly broke into a bank in the Britalia neighborhood. Demonstrators stormed 49 police posts across the city and set ablaze 17 of those facilities. Elsewhere in Colombia, violent protests broke out in the cities of Cali, Ibagué, Medellín, Pereira and Soacha. Police officials stated that five people were killed in Bogotá and two others in nearby Soacha during the unrest; at least 53 civilians and 87 police officers were injured nationwide.

Following the widespread violence in Bogotá, the mayor announced on the morning of 10 September that 1,600 police officers from other regions will be deployed to the city to support local security forces, along with 300 soldiers. While additional protests have not been announced, spontaneous demonstrations are likely later on 10 September.

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