Bogotá counts cost of fatal police brutality protests

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Gideon Long in Bogotá

Colombians on Sunday held peaceful “reconciliation” vigils as they counted the cost of some of the worst violence in their capital’s history, sparked by the police killing of a man accused of flouting Covid-19 restrictions.

At a memorial in the Plaza Simón Bolívar, Bogotá’s main square, Claudia López, the city’s mayor, read out the names of the 14 people who died in a series of running street battles that began on Wednesday.

The protests were prompted by a video posted on social media which showed two police officers repeatedly using a stun gun at point-blank range on a man they have pinned down in a Bogotá street. The man cried “please, enough, no more!” as onlookers filming the incident begged for restraint. The policemen continued for well over two minutes before arresting the man, accusing him of flouting coronavirus restrictions by drinking alcohol in the street.