The popular protests in Colombia are an issue that, presidential candidate of the Historical Pact, Gustavo Petrohas always worried him, and in last year’s mobilizations, he was one of the most critical of the use of force by the public force to detain them.
The presidential candidate, who at the time was accused of being an instigator of the mobilizations, strikes and blockades, criticized the harshness with which many young people were injured or ended up dead, as a result of the repressive action of the Police, and especially from his ESMAD Mobile Anti-riot Squad.
When there are 15 days left for the presidential elections of the May 29the candidate answered some questions for the Caustic medium, and one of them had to do precisely with this police squad, which is not accepted by many Colombians.
During the armed strike decreed by the clan of the gulf a few days ago and that confined a large part of the population of 11 departments to their homes, and paralyzed their economic activity in the region, it was reproached that the authorities and even ESMAD itself were not used to confront the actions of the violentbut all force is used to repress demonstrations by disaffected youth when they occur.
Gustavo Petro manifests himself in favor of the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Photo: Instagram @caustica.co
Gustavo Petro was asked if he would send ESMAD to respond to youth demonstrations and the candidate assured that when he was mayor of Bogotá he did not do it because he believes in the right to protest enshrined in the Constitutionand that, instead of sending a police force, it would send the people of the ‘red jacket’, trained to dialogue and resolve conflicts peacefully and without the use of weapons.
“I was mayor and I never sent the Esmad, but the ‘red jackets’ that was a body of dialogue”the presidential candidate and senator of the Republic told the media.
Gustavo Petro also considers it a priority to train members of the public force in peaceful conflict resolution.
The cases of young people killed by the repressive and violent action of the Police and especially the ESMAD have been widely documented, and the pain of several families like that of Dylan Cruz continueswho died in the 2019 social protests in Bogotá, whose crime and that of many remains unaccounted for.
During the national strike that began on April 28, 2022, Gustavo Petro and Senator Gustavo Bolívar they were accused of instigating the ‘front line’ to carry out attacks against the security forces and of committing acts of vandalism, a matter that the congressmen denied.