“El Gobierno es más peligroso que un virus”
(The government is more dangerous than a virus.)
What is happening in Colombia right now?
The Colombian government decided to present a Tax Reform in the middle of a pandemic, this implies raising taxes affecting thousands of Colombians (especially middle and lower class) as the costs of their basic needs are already very high.
Thousands of Colombians went out to demonstrate against this and they are being KILLED for exercising their constitutional rights. They are not allowed to march or protest, they are repressed and they cannot refute the corruption of the government.
They are practically in a civil battle.
The Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios (ESMAD) has the order to attack the protesting citizens with everything. There are multiple cases of abuse of authority against human rights defenders, the elderly, children, ALL. There are not enough shelters, doctors, or defense teams for citizens to seek support in their battle.
As of today, there’s been numerous acts of violence on Colombian protesters including:
- 940 cases of police brutality
- 30 cases of gun misuse against civilians by police
- 21 homicides in hands of public security and forces
- 31 civilians have disappeared following police arrest
- 672 arbitrary arrest by police
- 4 victims of sexual abuse by police.
As an American-Colombian female, it hurts being so far from home in moments like these, it’s just heartbreaking, but I pray that I can spread awareness of this violent situation that is happening right now in my country, to hopefully find a better systemic solution.
Gisell Builes, Boston-based artist @trippylandia