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10 Sep, 2020 11:15

At least 5 killed in violent protests following police killing of lawyer in Bogota, Colombia (GRAPHIC VIDEOS)

At least 5 killed in violent protests following police killing of lawyer in Bogota, Colombia (GRAPHIC VIDEOS)

At least five people have been killed as the streets of Bogota have descended into chaos following the death of Javier Ordonez who was tasered to death by arresting police officers for allegedly violating quarantine rules.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, police stopped Ordonez, a lawyer who had reportedly been working as a taxi driver during the pandemic, for allegedly violating quarantine restrictions. 

Footage of his arrest, during which he was repeatedly beaten and tasered by police as bystanders pleaded for mercy, has gone viral and generated outrage and ire which quickly transformed into violence across the Colombian capital. 

Warning: The following footage contains scenes which some may find distressing.

The 46-year-old father of two was taken into custody in the Engativá area of the capital, Bogota but later died in hospital. Anti-police protests swept the city and riot police were dispatched as the protests became increasingly violent and spread to new areas.

Local police outposts were set on fire in the Parkway, Techo, Gaitana, Villa Luz and Bosa areas of the city.

There have been multiple, extremely graphic videos shared online purporting to show protesters shot dead by police. The government has confirmed that at least five people have been killed so far during the protests which have now spread to other cities across the country. 

The Colombian Minister for Defense Carlos Holmes Trujillo also condemned the police brutality and confirmed an investigation into Ordonez’s death is underway, while the two officers have been relieved of duty. 

Many drew comparisons with the death of George Floyd, citing a violent police culture and a "corrupt system which rewards abuses of power," according to Alejandro Lanz, a lawyer who specializes in police brutality cases and is co-director of the police watchdog NGO Temblores.

Temblores has recorded at least 162 instances of police brutality resulting in 11 deaths. 

However, thanks to the coronavirus lockdown in Colombia, instances of police brutality have increased, with a leaked report suggesting as many as 400 complaints had been made about excessive use of force while imposing the lockdown. 

Meanwhile, there have been multiple massacres reported throughout the country in recent days amid a wave of violence perpetrated by various armed groups operating in the country. 

There were four such incidents of violence reported in just 24 hours, in which 14 people were killed, bringing the total number of fatalities linked to the recent spike in violence to at least 200 dead so far in 2020.

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