Covid-19. Drug traffickers shoot those who do not respect isolation

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Since the arrival of the new coronavirus in Colombia, armed groups in several parts of the country have imposed isolation rules and other measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

To enforce their rules, the groups threatened, killed and attacked people they say did not obey the rules.

In particular, members of drug cartels and rebel groups imposed terror in some rural areas of Colombia.

“Armed groups have violently imposed their own rules to prevent the coronavirus epidemic,” said José Miguel Vivanco, director of Human Rights Watch.

According to a Human Rights Watch report, these armed groups operate in at least 11 of Colombia’s 32 states.

The cartels broadcast their propaganda and threats through the Whatsapp social network and through brochures and issue warnings to residents in the areas they control.

According to Human Roghts Watch, these armed groups prevent residents, even the sick who want to leave, from leaving their homes.

The means of transport of some “recalcitrant” civilians were burned in the provinces of Cauca and Guaviare.

“This abusive social control reflects the government’s long-term inability to establish a significant state presence in remote areas of the country, especially to protect at-risk populations,” he said. José Miguel Vivanco.

The groups communicated, usually through brochures and WhatsApp messages, a wide range of measures that include the establishment of the state of siege, blockades, traffic restrictions for people, cars and boats, limits of days and hours of store opening and banning access to communities for foreigners and people from other communities.

For example, National Liberation Army (ELN) fighters in Bolívar, northern Colombia, published a pamphlet announcing that they were “forced to kill people to save their lives” because the population had not “obeyed Covid’s prevention orders.” -19 “.

On July 13, Colombia confirmed more than 150,000 cases of Covid-19 and more than 5,000 virus-related deaths.

The government has taken a number of measures to stem the spread of Covid-19, including a nationwide shutdown that began in late March and remains in place.

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