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Thread: Turmoil in Colombia

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    Default Turmoil in Colombia

    Venezuela tells military to prepare for potential war with Colombia

    By Paul Antonopoulos
    On Nov 30, 2019


    Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced that Colombia and the United States Southern Command were preparing provocative acts for an armed conflict at the borders between Venezuela and Colombia.
    “I have information that the Colombian government with the Southern Command, were trying to divert Colombia’s attention from the popular revolt, and is thinking of provocative acts again on the Venezuelan border. All Bolivarian National Armed Forces must be put into action and on alert. I have first-rate information that a set of provocations is intended for armed conflict,” Maduro said.
    Maduro issued the statements during an act with rail workers, from which he ordered the Armed Forces to prepare for defense.

    On November 14, Maduro asked police authorities to be alert to the alleged sending of terrorist groups by the Colombian government to attack Venezuela.

    On repeated occasions, the Venezuelan government has blamed Colombia for preparing an attack through false flag actions.

    Meanwhile, Colombian President Iván Duque accused Maduro of protecting a “narco terrorist gang”.

    On September 3, Maduro activated the orange alert on the Venezuelan border with Colombia.

    Meanwhile, after seven days of protests, Colombia shows no sign of improvement and makes clear the failure of peace agreements between the government and social leaders.

    The economic measures has made President Iván Duque disapproval reach 62% of the population, which is strengthening the Colombian leader’s resignation, mainly due to the scenario of violence and breach of peace agreements, as well as announcements and economic projects.

    Colombian economist Manuel Martínez, a doctoral student in economics and a researcher at the Center for Economic Situation Studies (CECON) at the State University of Campinas, said that he believes this whole situation is linked to current internal and external problems.
    “Colombia has been going through a very deep process of trade, economic and labor liberalization reforms since the 1990s and deepened in the 2000s,” he explained.
    In Colombia, these liberal reforms deepened with the backing of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and later, that of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, said the expert.
    “Today, Colombia is a country that, despite having relatively high growth relative to Latin America, its results are totally linked to the absorption of financial capital that maintains its profitability from fictitious capital,” he added.
    In addition to these problems, the country still faces an unemployment rate of over 10% of the population. Already 44% of workers earn less than a minimum wage per month , according to Minister Alicia Arango.
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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Colombia

    More trouble in Colombia.
    There's an embedded video on the BBC page, but here it is on YouTube. (It's not easy to watch. )


    Colombia protests: Death of man tasered by police sparks deadly clashes

    At least seven people have been killed in protests in Colombia as outrage spreads over the death of a man who was pinned to the ground and repeatedly tasered by police in Bogotá.

    Video of the incident shows 46-year-old Javier Ordóñez begging the officers to stop and telling them "I am choking".

    The officers were arresting him for allegedly breaking social distancing rules by drinking with friends.

    He was taken to a police station and later moved to hospital, where he died.

    What's the latest on the protests?

    At least seven people have died in the protests in the capital, Bogotá, in in nearby Soacha.

    Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said five of those who died had been shot. He also offered a reward for information leading to the capture of "the perpetrators of the murders".

    Bogotá Mayor Claudia López said 248 people had been injured, of which 58 had received gunshot wounds. Ms López added that more than 100 police officers had also been hurt.

    She said that no one had ordered police to shoot at protesters, especially not in an indiscriminate way, but that there was evidence that that was what had happened in some areas.



    The protests were centred on the neighbourhood of Engativá, where police arrested Mr Ordóñez.

    Hundreds of protesters clashed with officers outside the police post where Mr Ordóñez was held. More than 40 such posts, small police stations dotted across the city which often consist of only one room, were attacked and 17 were burnt down.

    There were also protests in Soacha, south of Bogotá, in Colombia's second biggest city, Medellín, and in the city of Pereira. More than 70 vehicles were damaged, among them nine public buses, which were set alight.

    Defence Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said 1,600 extra police would be deployed to Bogotá to tackle the protests.

    What triggered the protests?

    The protests broke out after video emerged of the arrest in the early hours of Wednesday of Javier Ordóñez in Engativá.



    The video shows Mr Ordóñez pinned to the ground by two police officers in a residential street.

    One of the officers repeatedly uses his taser on Mr Ordóñez, who can be heard saying "enough please, enough, no more, please" and "I'm choking".

    The officers continue to kneel on Mr Ordóñez and continue to use the taser.

    The person who is recording the incident on his phone, can also be heard pleading with the officers. "He's telling you 'please', we're recording you, don't continue... why do you continue harming him if he's said 'please'?," the man recording the video says.

    The last thing the video shows is a third officer arriving.

    Mr Ordóñez was taken to a local police post and was already unconscious by the time his friend arrived at the post to ask for him.

    "When I arrived, my friend was practically dead, he was not moving. So I began to yell at police and told them, 'please help him, let's take him to the hospital'," Juan David Uribe told Reuters TV.

    Mr Ordóñez was transferred to a local hospital where doctors declared him dead a short time later.

    The cause of his death has not yet been made public, but Mr Ordóñez's sister-in-law said the family had been told that he had been tasered 12 times. "They told us that a person can endure more or less four," she added.

    What lead to his arrest?

    Mr Ordóñez, a father of two who was about to graduate as a lawyer, was socialising with friends in his flat on the night of the incident.



    His friends say that when they ran out of alcohol, they went out to stock up. They say that on their return they were stopped by police who told them they would be fined for breaking social distancing rules and drinking in the street.

    It is not clear how that situation ended in Mr Ordóñez being pinned to the ground and tasered.

    The video shows a quiet street and only two other voices can be heard urging the police politely to stop.

    What reaction has there been?

    The two police officers have been suspended. Defence Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said there would be an internal investigation into the incident. The case is also under investigation by the prosecutors' office.

    President Iván Duque said there would a "rigorous investigation".

    The mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, condemned what she called "unacceptable police brutality" but she also urged protesters to refrain from vandalism and violence. "Destroying the city won't put an end to police abuses," the left-wing mayor said.

    There has been outrage on social media, where the video of Mr Ordóñez being tasered is being widely shared and the hashtag #ColombiaLivesMatter is trending. Many are comparing what happened to Mr Ordóñez to the case of George Floyd, whose death in police custody in the US led to a wave of protests against police brutality.

    What's the track record of the police?

    According to Mayor López, there have been 137 complaints of police brutality in Bogotá this year. Ms López has urged the police to investigate all the complaints.

    It is not the first time the capital has seen widespread protests against police brutality.

    In November, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in memory of Dilan Cruz, a student who died after being hit by a projectile fired by riot police during an anti-government protest.

    And in 2011, there was an outcry after a 16-year-old graffiti artist was shot dead by police after spray painting at a bridge. The police officer behind that shooting was sentenced to 37 years in prison in 2016.

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Colombia

    You're right. That was not easy to watch. I do not now, and will never, understand that kind of a sadistic streak used against any living thing. It would be impossible to be "compliant" while being tased.

    It would be like asking an electroshock victim to lie still.

    Anger is a higher level emotion than hopelessness and I am glad there is anger. Mind you, I didn't say violence. I just said anger.

    It's a wonder any of us are staying sane right now, with all of this turmoil. It's really a miracle.
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Colombia

    Cancel Culture has reached Colombia now. (Maybe with some justification in this case?)
    ‘527 Years of Humiliation’: Indigenous Activists Topple Statue of ‘Genocidal’ 16-Century Conquistador in Colombia

    18 Sept, 2020



    Angry activists destroyed a statue of 16th-century Spanish conquistador Sebastian de Belalcazar in Colombia.

    The incident follows a wave of similar attacks on historical monuments in the US.

    Videos from the scene show activists pulling down the large equestrian statue on a hill near the Western town of Popayan, cheering after it falls from a high plinth. They stood on the sculpture as it was lying on the ground and hit it with rocks. Police officers in riot gear were present nearby but did not interfere.

    According to reports, the activists were members of the Guambiano indigenous community, also known as Misak. Local community leader Martha Peralta said that Belalcazar was responsible for the “genocide” of the local population.

    She added that the destruction of the statue was “an act of courage after the 527 [years] of humiliation”, likely referring to the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1493.

    She wrote on social media that the action was a way of “reclaiming the memory of the ancestors killed and enslaved by the elites”.

    The incident follows a wave of statue-toppling that started in the US and has continued throughout several major Western nations, along with protests for racial justice.

    Black Lives Matter activists and their allies have been destroying and defacing statues of Confederate generals and other historical figures linked to slavery and colonialism. The movement became a topic of contentious debate in the US, receiving both praise and criticism for its messaging and methods.

    Belalcazar led military expeditions into modern Colombia and Ecuador. He founded several cities, including Popayan, and played a major role in establishing Ecuador’s capital, Quito.

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