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International Statement Against Police Brutality and the Repression of the Youth in Colombia
venezuela / colombia | repression / prisoners | press release Friday August 13, 2010 01:57 by Red Libertaria Popular Mateo Kramer - RLPMK
As repression assumes fearful proportions in Colombia, sheer violence is the mechanism to impose a terrorist mafia regime, an enclave subservient to US imperialist interests in the region. The current regime represents the political expression of the harshest class violence against workers in the region. This is not shameful for the Colombian people but it represents a menace to all of the Latin American people. Those libertarian organisations who have signed this statement do so in order to show solidarity with the libertarian movement in Colombia which, along with the rest of the people’s movement, knows no quarter in its struggle against State Terrorism and Imperialism.
INTERNATIONAL STATEMENT AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY AND THE REPRESSION OF THE YOUTH IN COLOMBIA
Last May 6th, 5 years had passed since the murder of Nicolás Neira by the ESMAD (anti-riot police). 5 years ago, Nicolás was marching in the May Day demonstration. But this was just a simple gesture of a young man who had given his life a full new meaning, at the tender age of 15. His lucidity and political insight, his enthusiasm and decision, were such that, had he lived to this day, Nicolás Neira would be a true militant of the struggles of the oppressed, of the libertarian and popular struggle. Struggle which is alien, because of social illusions and manipulation, to many unconcerned youth. But State power, by means of brutal force, put an end to his life on that May Day, 2005. ESMAD cornered him, powerless and unaware of what was going on. He was summarily executed with kicks and riot batons smashing down on his head. He was able to resist for some days, but eventually passed away on May 6th.
In 2009, after many years of impunity and the silence of the judiciary system, the State Attorney dismissed two ESMAD officers and declared them unfit to hold office for their “omission” in Nicolás Neira’s death. This is clearly not enough, but this verdict does signal a small victory since there is now public acknowledgment of the fact that Nicolás was murdered by the police forces and is one of a long and terrible list of young people murdered over the years by the ESMAD. Nicolás was victim of a State policy of police brutality, the same policy responsible for the murder of young people such as Carlos Giovanni Blanco (Universidad Nacional student, murdered in 2001), Jaime Acosta (Universidad Industrial de Santander student, murdered in 2002), Belisario Guetoto (16-year-old indigenous boy, killed in 2005), Jhonny Silva (Universidad del Valle student, murdered in 2005) and Óscar Salas (Universidad Distrital student, murdered in 2006).
These acts of police brutality make sense in a broader framework of “Democratic Security”, that has hit the young particularly strongly through a policy of constant discrimination, criminalization and death, alongside denunciations, extra-judicial executions, repression of every form of social protest, unemployment, poor education, poor social security and lack of opportunities.
In the face of this nefarious reality, we, young people filled with libertarian hopes and dreams, refuse to remain silent as an option, and we raise our voices of protest in order to:
1. Denounce police brutality against the youth such as Nicolás Neira, and we demand the definitivee dismantling of the ESMAD.
2. Denounce the youth repression policy, an integral part of Uriba’s Democratic Security policy applied over the last eight years and which will clearly continue as Santos' policy in the coming four years of government.
For a dignified life, justice and freedom! Against police brutality and youth repression!