Colombian police charged with killing that sparked riots

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Friends and relatives carry the coffin of the attorney Javier Ordonez in Bogota, on September 16, 2020. Two police officers have been charged with Ordonez's death, which triggered riots in the capital and othe cities
Friends and relatives carry the coffin of the attorney Javier Ordonez in Bogota, on September 16, 2020. Two police officers have been charged with Ordonez’s death, which triggered riots in the capital and othe cities Juan BARRETO AFP

Colombian prosecutors on Friday charged two police officers with torture and aggravated homicide after the death of a man in custody sparked deadly rioting in the capital and other cities.

The two police involved in the arrest of Javier Ordonez, who was repeatedly tasered before dying later in custody, were charged with “torture and aggravated homicide,” prosecutor’s office official Francisco Barbosa said.

Five other police officers are under investigation in the case.

Thirteen people were killed in the protests, most from gunshot wounds, according to Bogota’s leftist mayor, Claudia Lopez, who accused police of firing on the protesters.

Public outrage was fueled by a video of Ordonez pleading with police as he lay on the ground being repeatedly shocked by the taser.

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A lawyer for the victim’s family claimed the 43-year-old engineer had died later at a police station, after being brutally beaten.

Riots which also hit the cities of Medellin and Cali wounded more than 500 people, including 285 civilians and 315 police.

Authorities said 95 police stations were vandalized.

Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo was forced to apologize for the death of Ordonez, a father of two.

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