WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
26 Aug 2016 | Commentary

WOLA Joins Voices Concerned with Actions by Colombia’s Anti-Riot Police

In a letter to Colombia’s Minister of Defense Luis Carlos Villegas that expressed concerns over extensive use of excessive force that includes beatings, the use of stun grenades and the shooting of rubber bullets by Colombia’s anti-riot police (ESMAD) during peaceful protest, WOLA joined other U.S. based nongovernmental organizations, faith-based organizations, and human rights advocates, to demand accountability of police behavior.

The letter highlighted specific cases of police brutality and called on Minister Villegas to collaborate with the Attorney General’s office in the investigation of gross violations of human rights and to enforce disciplinary actions on members of ESMAD found responsible for police abuse.

Recently the Colombia’s House of Representative called on a hearing on ESMAD and its role in the death of several civilians. The hearing included the participation of high ranking police general who answered questions on the organizations behavior during peaceful protest.