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Colombia: A Year Without Dilan Cruz

Dilan's sister holds aloft his portrait in school uniform

Gearóid Ó Loingsigh

23 November 2020

A year ago today, Dilan Cruz fell under the shots of the police.  A bean bag lodged in his skull ended the life of this youth.  After the events we would get to know the smiling photos of a good student, a good lad, a youth who was much loved by his friends.

Nothing in Dilan's life was easy, he was born and raised in a poor neighbourhood, he dropped out of school only to take up his studies once again and he dreamed of going to university.  Like many Colombians he was denied that opportunity, first through poverty and then a shot to the head.

Not even his death was easy.  He did not die instantly, he fought death for a number of hours and then succumbed in the San Ignacio Hospital in Bogotá.  Now in death, things continue to difficult for this youth.  We all know the name and rank of his murderer.  His executioner is Captain Manuel Cubillos from the riot squad and he continues to be a police officer in Colombia.  He is walks around in peace, Dilan's family do so in anguish.  Today at the protest organised at the crime scene, 19th Street with 4th Avenue in Bogotá, his Ma was very clear.  " We are not seeking compensation but rather for charges to be brought against those responsible."  And it is clear that responsibility does not fall only on the shoulders of the ogre Manuel Cubillos but rather on the then Mayor of Bogotá, Peñalosa and the king of the clowns, the subpresident Iván Duque.

But Colombia is governed by a king of clowns where impunity prevails and struts about the streets armed to the teeth killing left right and centre.  The monster Manuel Cubillos is just one of the thousands of hired killers in Bogotá and no authority wants to deal with the issue.  The then recently elected Mayoress Claudia López spoke on the murder but once she took office in January the police continued to murder, evicting people from their homes and attacking the civilian population.  Crocodile tears.

Today we mourn Dilan Cruz and we cannot compare him to his killers.  When they ask us to mourn some dead police officer, remember Dilan Cruz and mourn him and the 13 youths murdered following the torture and murder of Javier Ordóñez and never for them.  May not a single tear be shed for them, they are the ones who every year extract from us rivers of blood and tears.

In honour of Dilan Cruz and all the victims of state terrorism in Colombia.

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