Colombia’s capital Bogota on Saturday welcomed dawn after a night of terror, carried out in apparent collusion with the police.
In a video message, Bogota Mayor Enrique Peñalosa told residents around midnight that the violence was part of “an orchestrated campaign to create terror.”
Informo a los ciudadanos que hay una campaña orquestada para crear terror en residentes de apartamentos en relación con el ingreso de vándalos a robar. De todas maneras estamos atentos y respondemos a cualquier llamado de emergencia! pic.twitter.com/Z6QAYFWA1B
— Enrique Peñalosa (@EnriquePenalosa) November 23, 2019
Bogota Police commander Mayor General Hoover Penilla, whose subordinates were filmed while taking part in the violence, only barely kept a straight face when Peñalosa told residents to “not fall in this terror trap.”
“THIS IS A STATE SET-UP,” immediately trended on Twitter as only few were able to sleep.
How to terrorize a city
The violence began earlier on Friday as Colombia entered its second day of national protests against the government of President Ivan Duque.
In response to the violence, the president and Peñalosa agreed to impose a curfew and to call in the military.
At around 8PM, Duque took to television to announce that he would seek increased military involvement and intelligence to “increase security” in all of Colombia.
Four hours later, Peñalosa said the sudden outburst of violence in Bogota was a trap.
What state terrorism looks like
As videos uploaded to social media made evident, the people of Bogota were treated to an almost unimaginable night of terror.
— Yolima Amado (@YolimaAmado) November 23, 2019
In some neighborhoods, neighbors armed themselves with tools and sticks to defend their property against the groups of thugs that were roaming around.
Neighbors apprehended, stripped and nearly lynched at least one man.
TODO ES UN MONTAJE DEL ESTADO si claro, entonces hay que ser muy guevon para hacerse casi linchar pic.twitter.com/HPxy0Ksphz
— Japv (@caldense89) November 23, 2019
In multiple of the videos, police were seen breaking and tapping windows.
— Madame Simone (@MadameSiimone) November 23, 2019
— Diego Lancheros (@diego_lanch) November 23, 2019
One couple claimed police were recruiting homeless people and telling them to look for bricks.
El video que no quieren que veas sobre los "vándalos"
Geplaatst door Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Comun op Vrijdag 22 november 2019
At least Bogota residents reported that the were transported in police trucks.
No les tengo miedo a los vándalos. He atendido desde el principio de mi carrera a ladrones, incluso el último turno uno me llegó con exposición de masa cerebral vivo y lo remiti vivo. No juzgo. Pero lo que esta haciendo @PoliciaColombia es asqueroso. @RoyBarreras @IvanCepedaCast pic.twitter.com/q07nynoOdg
— MdSweety!🔦🔦🔦🔦🕯🕯🕯🕯 (@alemar_dul) November 23, 2019
TODO ES UN MONTAJE DEL ESTADO
Al lado de la Estación de Policía de Kennedy, ya llegaron los camiones que llevan a los policías infiltrados.
Abro hilo: pic.twitter.com/th7T3pusFy
— El Parche Crítico 🔴 #21N (@ElParcheCritico) November 23, 2019
In one case, a resident reported police “are taking them on their motorbikes, with helmet and everything.”
Definitiva/ este gobierno es muy imbécil! Qué pensaron, estábamos en los 90', cuando la gente no tenía celulares? Pues se jodieron..
TODO ES UN MONTAJE DEL ESTADO pic.twitter.com/x7DpOciLpo
— Miles H. Mora (@MilesHMora2) November 23, 2019
In another video, police let at least five people out of a van while the curfew was in force.
TODO ES UN MONTAJE DEL ESTADO
Nos venden miedo para darnos seguridad! pic.twitter.com/7NPkJecLCb
— Andrés Rodríguez (@Andres1601R) November 23, 2019
When the sun came up, many were enraged about why their own security forces were involved in what the mayor called an “orchestrated campaign to create terror.”