Colombia’s opposition pressed charges against President Ivan Duque, his defense minister and top security officials before the International Criminal Court.
In a video message, opposition Senator Ivan Cepeda said that Duque, Defense Minister Diego Molano, General Jorge Luis Vargas of the National Police and General Jorge Luis Vargas of the National were facing charges for “the alleged carrying out of crimes against humanity.”
According to Cepeda, the government and commanders of the security forces allegedly committed the crimes against participants in anti-government protests that began on April 28.
The brutal response to these protests has been unanimously condemned by the international community and triggered a call by US lawmakers to suspend aid to Colombia’s National Police.
List of human rights violations keeps growing
The Americas director of Human Rights Watch, Jose Miguel Vivanco, said Friday that his office had received reports that 49 people, including one cop, were killed during the protests.
Prosecutor General Francisco Barbosa on Wednesday confirmed claims by the Missing Persons Search Unit that hundreds of protesters have gone missing.
Human rights NGO Temblores said Thursday that it received more than than 2,100 reports of police brutality during the protests that were largely peaceful in nature.
Almost half of the reports were related to the arbitrary detention of protesters. More than 440 peaceful protests were allegedly ended violently by the police.
Government coining conspiracy theories in defense
In an attempt to defend himself against mounting evidence of gross human rights violations, the defense minister claimed on Friday that guerrilla group ELN and “vandalistic organizations” were involved in violence.
Molano has been coining all kinds of conspiracy theories to justify the violent repression of peaceful protest.
At the same time, the defense minister published evidence of his involvement in terror campaigns in Cali, the city that has been hit hardest by violence during the recent protests.
The International Criminal Court was already monitoring Colombia because of decades of state involvement in human rights violations and state terrorism.