Police beat Elvis Vivas López, 24, on the night of May 1, in Madrid, Cundinamarca state, several videos Human Rights Watch corroborated show. The officers dragged him by his feet and arms to a nearby police station, the videos show. Two witnesses said that they saw Vivas leaving the police station that night. He had a large injury in the head, they said, and was disoriented. They took him to a hospital, where Vivas told doctors that the police beat him, a medical record Human Rights Watch reviewed shows. The doctors performed surgery and put him in an induced coma due to head injuries, his family members said. Vivas died on May 7. A justice sector official familiar with the case said that the evidence points to police responsibility.
Police beat Kevin Díaz, 18, and his 16-year-old girlfriend, near South Ecological Park in Bogotá, as they returned home from his sister’s house, Díaz said. Police and protesters had blocked the streets, and they found themselves being pushed with the crowds toward the center of the protests; then trapped near a police station where protesters and police were throwing stones, Díaz said. He and his girlfriend broke away, sometime after 9 p.m., and ran toward the park. At least 10 police on motorcycles chased them down and started beating them. Díaz tried to protect his girlfriend. An officer pointed a gun at her. Neighbors started screaming and the officers left, Díaz said. Human Rights Watch corroborated a video of the scene where a woman is checking Díaz’s injuries. Other people seen in the video say she is a nurse. Human Rights Watch also reviewed photos showing injuries on Díaz’s back, arms, right leg, and the left side of his face. His girlfriend was not injured.
Samuel Rodríguez (pseudonym), 24, a student, participated in a protest in the afternoon of May 1, in Parque de las Luces, Medellín, Antioquia state. Several protesters were throwing rocks at police, who responded with teargas, Rodríguez said. He was nearly 200 meters from the scene of the violence when, at around 4 p.m., a motorcycle rammed him. The officers on the motorcycle hit him with truncheons and fists, kicked him, and grabbed him by the neck, he said. Rodríguez could not breathe, he said. Police dragged him a few meters away, where more officers joined in the beating. An officer said they were going to detain him, but Rodríguez got away, bleeding heavily. Human Rights Watch corroborated a video that shows him, injured and bleeding, walking in a street in Medellín minutes later.
Joseph Felipe Fonseca Téllez, 19, was walking with his sister and cousin along Avenida Caracas, in Bogotá, on the afternoon of April 28, when they ran into a group of police beating a young man, Téllez said. Téllez’s sister asked them to stop. Police responded by beating Téllez and his cousin, and detaining Téllez’s sister. An officer beat Téllez’s cousin with a truncheon while another one used a radio and a truncheon to hit his cousin in the head. Téllez and his cousin ran to escape the beatings, and an ESMAD agent threatened to shoot them with a teargas cartridge, Téllez said. Officers held Téllez’s sister for an hour. Human Rights Watch reviewed photos showing cuts on Tellez’s head and injuries to his cousin’s left cheek that are consistent with their statements.