Story By: Juan Fenandez Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
This is the moment dozens of Colombians break the country’s coronavirus quarantine to march in the funeral of a local crime boss.
The march took place yesterday (Tuesday) in the town of Bello located in the Antioquia department in northern Colombia after local gangster Edgar Perez Hernandez, known as ‘Oso’ (Bear), after he died from a heart attack after he transferred between prisons.
Local media report the transfer lasted seven hours which left Perez Hernandez in a weakened state. He was then hospitalised in a penitentiary medical centre where he suffered a heart attack and died hours later.
The video shows the moment a large crowd of people walk behind a car and a motorcycle. The vehicles continue to honk without stopping throughout the video.
They slowly go down the street as a group is seen holding a large red banner with “OSO WE LOVE YOU” written on it, referring to Perez Hernandez’s nickname.
Neighbours stand on their balconies or stay in their homes to watch the procession go by while a man is heard yelling, prompting several people to clap.
A coffin being carried by several people appears in the middle of the march reportedly containing Perez Hernandez’s body.
In a separate video, a better look of the large banner dedicated to the crime boss can be seen.
It says: “WE LOVE YOU OSO. You don’t die when you are gone, you die when you are forgotten.”
Many participants are seen standing behind the large banner with some wearing facemasks while the majority of them appear not to be wearing any form of protection from COVID-19.
Brigadier General of the Medellin Metropolitan Police Eliecer Camacho told local media: “These people are now in their homes.
“We will start an investigation against these people who hosted this gathering which was not permitted during the quarantine” with reports of 15 people already having been fined.
The number of people who attended the march is unclear.
Perez Hernandez was allegedly the leader of the criminal organisation Niquia Camacol which operates in Bello, working mainly in extortion and drug trafficking.
He had been under police custody since December of last year after hosting a party where weapons were fired into the air prompting police to go investigate and arrest him.
Colombia has been in lockdown since 25th March and it is expected to last until 27th April. According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, there have been 1,780 cases of COVID-19 in Colombia, leading to 50 deaths.
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