Street artist Nicolás Guerrero was killed on 2 May 2021 in Cali, Colombia during a demonstration against the tax reform proposed by the Colombian government. It has been alleged that the Special Anti-Riot squad (ESMAD) officers are responsible for this action.
“Killing artist Nicolás Guerrero during protest violates the right of every individual to freedom of peaceful assembly guaranteed by the ICCPR,” said Dr Srirak Plipat, Freemuse Executive Director. “The Colombian authorities should ensure safety for every person who wants to exercise their right to protest. We, therefore, call on the Colombian authorities to conduct a comprehensive and transparent investigation into the death of Nicolás Guerrero.”
A video circulated online showed when Guerrero was shot in the head, reportedly by the ESMAD officers. According to KienyKe, the video also shows the attempt of other protesters to save the artist’s life. Guerrero was transferred to the health centre, where he died.
The New York Times reports that there were 19 people killed as of 3 May 2021 during the nationwide demonstrations against a proposed tax reform related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mayor of Cali, Jorge Iván Ospina, condemned the attack on the artist and urged the police not to bring guns to these protests.
Freemuse calls on the Colombian authorities to conduct a comprehensive and transparent investigation into the death of Nicolás Guerrero.