The government of Canada has joined the chorus of governments and multilateral organizations condemning the current violence and unrest in Colombia, with Canada taking the step of specifically admonishing the widespread cases of police brutality and provocation against initially peaceful protesters, with in many cases, passive marches devolving into confrontations between the public and Colombian police, especially the ESMAD riot police squadrons.
The Canadian government also provided contact information for any Canadian citizens that may need assistance at this time. As a courtesy, the entire message is reprinted in its entirety below.
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:
“Canada is deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries in Colombia over the last week.
“Canada condemns the violence, including the disproportionate use of force by security forces, and urges that the violence cease. The right to peaceful assembly and association are the bedrock of democracy and must be promoted and protected at all times.
“We are also concerned with the acts of vandalism and attacks directed against public officials responsible for the protection of all Colombian citizens. Canada calls upon those responsible for road blockades to allow the free passage of goods and services essential to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We welcome the Government of Colombia’s commitment to fully investigate and hold accountable those who may be guilty of violating human rights during these events. We encourage continued dialogue as an important means of de-escalating the current tensions.
“Canadians in Colombia should regularly check our Travel Advice and Advisories page, monitor local news reports and follow the advice of local authorities.
“At any time, Canadians requiring emergency consular assistance can contact the Embassy of Canada to Colombia in Bogotá at 57 (1) 657-9800 or Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa by calling +1 613 996 8885 collect or by sending an email message to [email protected].”