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Government of Colombia announces release of young people detained in protests: “They will be peace managers”

Young people imprisoned in the framework of the massive anti-government protests of 2021 in Colombia They will continue their judicial processes in freedom in exchange for providing humanitarian services as “peace managers”, the leftist government announced on Monday.

About 250 cases will be evaluated individually by a specialized committee and then President Gustavo Petro will make “a request for the suspension of the capture that he will address to the corresponding judicial authority,” Interior Minister Alfonso Prada told the press.

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“It is not an amnesty, it is not a pardon, it is not a judicial pardon. Those who are going to be beneficiaries of this measure are judicially bound to the files and will suffer the fate that the judges finally define in a judicial sentence”, added the head of the portfolio.

In this file photo taken on June 12, 2021, riot police detain a protester during a protest against the government of Colombian President Iván Duque in Bogotá. (Juan BARRETO / AFP /)

The law will be regulated during the week, according to the governmentalthough Petro anticipated that “hundreds of youths (…) they will be declared peace managers before Christmas Eve”.

Without specifying the functions that the beneficiaries of the measure will have, the Minister of Justice, Néstor Osuna, assured that they must work for the “reconciliation and coexistence” of Colombians, under surveillance “of compliance with those commitments.”

The measure responds to a campaign promise by Petro, who openly supported the social outbreak against the then right-wing president ivan duke (2018-2022) when thousands of youths and vulnerable sectors took to the streets in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The protests bloodiest occurred last year in rejection of the tax increase proposed by the government to alleviate the debacle caused by the pandemic, and which was finally archived in the face of popular pressure.

Colombian riot police arrest a protester during a demonstration against the government of Colombia's President Iván Duque, in Bogota, on January 21, 2020.

Colombian riot police arrest a protester during a demonstration against the government of Colombian President Iván Duque, in Bogotá, on January 21, 2020. (Joaquin SARMIENTO / AFP/)

According to the UN, 46 people, including civilians and police, died in the midst of these mobilizations.

According to data up to November 28, 155 people are detained for events related to the protestsaccording to the prosecution, and only nine of them have already been convicted.

The crimes for which they are investigated are homicide, torture, terrorism, damage to another’s property and theft, among others.

The government It has not yet decided whether the measure will also benefit those who are already convicted, or members of the public force also involved in crimes in the midst of the mobilizations.

The opposition rejected the initiative.

A demonstrator confronts riot police during a protest against the government of Colombian President Iván Duque to commemorate the first anniversary of a social outbreak, in Medellin, Colombia, on April 28, 2022.

A demonstrator confronts riot police during a protest against the government of Colombian President Iván Duque to commemorate the first anniversary of a social outbreak, in Medellín, Colombia, on April 28, 2022. (Joaquin SARMIENTO / AFP/)

“Terrorists like these pardoned with the excuse of making them peace managers. Colombia He has a memory and knows what the urban terrorism that these guys did meant,” Senator María Fernanda Cabal, of the Democratic Center, the party of former right-wing president Álvaro Uribe, asserted on Twitter.

International organizations have denounced an excessive use of force in the repression of the protests by policemen.

Source: Elcomercio

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