By Sinikka Tarvainen, (dpa)
HAVANA TIMES – Seven persons dead and more than 140 injured after violent protests erupted in Colombia. The unrest came in reaction to two Colombian police officers allegedly killing a man in Bogota, police said on Thursday.
The deaths occurred in Bogota and in the nearby municipality of Soacha, police sub-director Gustavo Moreno said on television.
He said the victims were civilians. Defence Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo offered a reward of up to 50 million pesos (14,000 dollars) for information leading to the capture of those responsible for killings.
Those injured included 93 police officers and 55 civilians in and near Bogota, Moreno said.
Attacks occurred at more than 50 police stations in several cities, including 22 set on fire in Bogota. Thirteen buses resulted burned in the capital.
Other attacks were against vehicles, shops and banks, leaving some urban areas looking like war zones. Nationalwide sevent arrests took place.
The death of lawyer Javier Ordonez
The unrest on Wednesday and overnight followed the death of lawyer Javier Ordonez, 46, stopped by police in western Bogota the night before.
Two officers reportedly conducting controls related to the coronavirus pandemic accused Ordonez and his friends of drinking in the street.
A video shot by Ordonez’s friends showed the police officers holding him to the ground and repeatedly shocking him with a stun pistol, despite constant pleas for them to stop.
Ordonez was then taken to a police station, where officers allegedly beat him.
He died at a nearby clinic.
Holmes Trujillo announced the dispatch of 1,250 more police and of 300 soldiers to Bogota.
The city authorities proposed a reform of the police force, which would include new rules on the use of stun pistols.
During 2019 and 2020 several deaths occurred in incidents with police in the Bogota area.
The best-known case was that of Dilan Cruz, a young man hit by a police projectile during anti-government protests in November.