Colombian Minister of Defense defends police action amid marches


BOGOTA (Sputnik) – Colombian Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo, cited to a political control debate in Congress for abuses of the Police Riot Squadron (Esmad) of the Police, defended the performance of that force and assured that it is attached to the Constitution of the country.

In Esmad, "the principles that exist are followed and, of course, respond to what our national legislation is," Trujillo said in the debate, cited by opposition congressmen.

Lawmakers argue that the squad abused the use of force in recent demonstrations in the context of the national strike against "neoliberal" government policies, protests that have been taking place in the country since last November 21.

Regarding the criticism, Trujillo said that the Public Force prepared to deal with infiltrators in the marches that could generate disturbances, and said that Esmad acted with respect for the legitimate use of force, for which its members "do not deserve" Be called murderers.

"Some have been given the task of showing Esmad as a group of barbarians and murderers, insulting, in addition, a group of public servants who do not deserve that qualifier, because they are self-sacrificing," he said.

He also noted that the Police accompanied the peaceful marches of recent weeks, but that after disorders and disturbances occurred at the end of some of these mobilizations, Esmad had to act "in accordance with international, national, regulations, protocols , the Constitution and the Law. "

For his part, the deputy Inti Asprilla, one of the speakers to the debate, said that "the excess of force and breach of the protocols ended in the murder of Dilan Cruz", an 18-year-old who died last week afterwards that in the middle of a peaceful march he was shot in the head by an Esmad agent.

"Dilan did not die, Dilan was killed, and in a debate of political control we demand that the Public Force do his duty, protect the citizens who peacefully demonstrate," Asprilla added.

He also said that "he wanted to insinuate" that those who endorse the dismantling of Esmad defend the people who make riots, but that this is "far from reality", since with acts such as the political control debate is sought "ask to the Public Force that complies with the order. "

In the framework of the protests against the Government of Ivan Duque four people died, while more than 177 civilians were injured along with more than 340 agents of the Public Force.

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