Colombian police kill student demonstrator
Student Oscar Salas killed by police during a demonstration at the National University
Oscar Salas, a language student at the District University of Francisco Jose de Caldas in Bogota was injured during an attack by police on a student demonstration at the National University. He died several hours later in hospital.
The Colombian Association of University Students denounces these events, and stands shoulder to shoulder with his friends and family. We denounce the circumstances of his death, which according to witnesses happened at about 1.20pm after an attack by the ESMAD riot police who were using non-conventional weapons to disperse the protest. Oscar died from a severe trauma to his skull.
The ESMAD riot police clearly
overreacted to what was a peaceful protest, reflecting the national policy
that President Alvaro Uribe Velez has implemented to repress opposition social
It is worth noting that today s student protest was the fruit of the social and armed conflict and the crisis that excludes the majority of Colombians from the democratic process and banishes them to poverty. It is the result of the war-mongering stance of national government. We will not forget that Oscar Salas is not the only victim.
We call on all society to
reject this type of policy that only serves to deepen the crisis in our
country, and we join the call to mobilise to demand an end to state sponsored
violence, police brutality and the systematic violation of the human rights of
those in opposition to the current government.
We demand that the government:
Carry out an exhaustive investigation into the circumstances of the death of Oscar Salas.
Bring those responsible for this death, immediately to justice.
Disband the ESMAD riot police, seeing that in the last year they have been responsible for the deaths not only of Oscar Salas but also of students Nicolas Neira and Jonny Silva, as well as the deaths of indigenous activists from Riosucio and Cauca.
Please send messages of protest to the following (sample message below):
I am writing to express my horror at yet another death at the hands of the ESMAD riot police. Oscar Salas, a university student was killed by riot police while participating in a peaceful protest. I demand that the Colombian authorities do all in their power to investigate the events surrounding his death fully, and to bring those responsible to justice.
In light of further killings during the last year by members of ESMAD, including the deaths of students Nicolas Neira and Jonny Silva, and of indigenous people in Riosucio and Cauca, I urge the government to immediately order the disbanding of ESMAD. Please respond telling me what the government plans to do in the face of this killing.
Presidente de la Republica
Fax: 57 1 566 2071
Vicepresidente de Colombia
Director del Programa de Derechos Humanos de Vicepresidencia
Edgardo Jose Maya Villazsn
Procurador General de la Nacion.
Volmar Antonio Perez Ortiz
Defensor del Pueblo
Fax: 57 1 6400491
Oficina del Alto Comisionado de Naciones Unidas para los derechos humanos.
Fax: 57 1 6293637
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