The family of a Colombian journalist who died as a result of injuries incurred while in police custody will sue the department.
Guillermo Quiroz, a 31-year-old journalist, was on his way to the municipality of San Pedro in the Sucre department on November 20 to cover a dispute between locals and the Canadian mining company, Pacific Rubiales, when he was apprehended by police. According to police, the journalist assaulted an officer after he had been stopped on his motorcycle and asked to show proper documents.
“He [Quiroz]…assaulted an officer…causing heavy blows to the [officer’s] arm,” local media reported Colonel Salvador Gutierrez as saying.
The police claim Quiroz was then put in a truck that he later fell from suffering the injuries that would ultimately lead to his death on Tuesday.
Quiroz’s family, however, claimed he was beaten by police. During the seven days the journalist was battling for his life in a hospital in Sincelejo, he allegedly told his brother that police assaulted him and thew him from the truck.
“Police beat me and threw me as the car was [in motion and] hit me across the face,” Quiroz reportedly told his brother.
Police on Friday announced that three police officers have been temporarily removed from their posts while an investigation is underway.