President Petro Orders Deployment of Administrative Police for Enhanced Bogota Security
During a Security Council meeting in Bogota with Mayoress Claudia Lopez, President Gustavo Petro issued an order for police officers who are currently on administrative duty to be deployed onto the streets of the city in order to enhance security. He emphasized that the immediate priority should be to utilize all available police personnel, especially those who have received training for active street duty but are currently engaged in administrative roles.
Supporting the head of state’s call, Bogota’s mayoress voiced her approval for the establishment of a ‘Local Police’. According to the official, the capital cannot continue to bear the cost of police officers who fail to meet the capital of the Colombia’s security needs due to their departure from the city. The creation of a local police force, as proposed by the mayoress, would ensure the constant presence of security personnel dedicated to maintaining order and safety within the city.
Colombia’s Anti-Police Sentiment
However, these efforts to improve security come amid a growing anti-police sentiment in Colombia. Incidents of police brutality have sparked an outcry from the public, leading to protests and demonstrations. One such incident involved the alleged use of excessive force by police officers during an altercation with a 46-year-old father of two in Bogota. The man, Javier Ordonez, was reportedly subjected to repeated shocks from a stun gun and later died from head injuries allegedly inflicted while in police custody. This incident, captured and shared widely on social media, sparked a wave of anti-police sentiment.
In the aftermath of Ordonez’s death, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Bogotá, leading to clashes with security forces that resulted in 13 deaths and over 400 injuries. Instead of subsiding, the incident fueled a string of demonstrations and social media agitation. Various groups, including union members, student groups, and human rights activists, are now putting police brutality at the top of their list of grievances. These groups are demanding a comprehensive reform of the country’s police force, accusing the police of excessive force, particularly in interactions with poor and marginalized Colombians.
President Gustavo Petro Orders Deployment of Administrative Police Officers to Enhance Bogota’s Security
Recently, Mayoress Claudia Lopez expressed concern during a public hearing about a constitutional reform with eight debates. She urged the Congress not to prematurely end the debate and archive the project aimed at creating a police force for the capital, citing it as an insult to Colombia and Bogota.
President Petro had previously announced this initiative on social media due to security issues in Bogotá and a decrease in the number of police officers. The city currently has 16,500 officers compared to 17,494 in 2016, according to data from the mayor’s office, which translates to 207 officers per 100,000 inhabitants. López criticized this backward trend.
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