Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Nicolas Neira, Martyr

Nicolas Neira, 1989 - 2005
Today, his anarchist companions, memorialized killed activist Nicolas Neira on the tenth anniversary of his death. Neira, a 15-year-old student, was killed in May 2005 after participating in May Day a protest on Carrera Septima just south of Calle 19, converting him into a martyr for other anti-state activists.

A candle for Nicolas Neira.
Neira, who had asthma, was reportedly overcome by tear gas and hit by riot police. He collapsed on the pavement, where he was trampled by the crowd. Neira was carried to a hospital, where he died May 6 from his internal injuries. The riot police did not aid Neira, forcing other protesters to find a taxi to transport him to a clinic. Police have alleged that Neira's injuries resulted from the protesters' own violence.

The individual police who allegedly hit Neira were never identified, but two police officials were banned from public posts for their responsibility in Neira's death. A judge ordered the Colombian government to pay Neira's family 160 million-pesos in compensation. That has not satisfied Neira's parents, but criminal charges against the police officials have not advanced and the family has taken the case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The tragedy also converted Neira's father, Yuri Neira, previously an insurance company executive, into an activist for victims of state violence.
Another plaque for Nicolas Neira.

At this evening's memorial, the anarchist crowd called the state 'criminal' and 'murderer.' "Death to the state," they chanted, "long live anarchism."

Yet, altho state security forces clearly carry responsibility for Neiras death, that same state did issue a judgment against itself and order itself to pay damages to its victims.

Perhaps the state is not really pure evil after all.

The memorial's location, on the Carrera Septima shopping strip, did not smack of anarchism and anti-capitalism.

The other day, an anarchist 'colectivo' painted this portrait of Nicolas Neira on Calle 26 west of the Central Cemetery.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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