Protests in Colombia are going on since 27 April 2021. There is even an wiki article about it, showing widespread police violence and many victims:

The protesters want the riot police to be disbanded and for all members of the security forces to be held accountable by an independent body rather than by military courts

France24 reports about 42 deaths. enter image description here

But all we can see in response are just warnings from UN HR chief, Michelle Bachelet and that's the most bright of all I've found. Or this, for example:

The United States Department of State asked the Colombian government for "maximum restraint" on the part of the public forces to avoid further loss of life

No claims/warnings from western world leaders, no sanctions against Colombian officials, no demands to government immediate resign.

Why is there nearly NO response from the international community? Comparing to, for example, Belarus protests?

  • Just to put it into perspective people are fleeing from Venezuela to Colombia because at least they have a currency that works and therefore access to basic items. If you look at the whole world right now most conflicts are not covered by "western media". Jun 9, 2021 at 10:10
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    Media attitude and international politics are dominated by US interests, therefore you can draw a parallel. Even though you found some references reporting by the media is scant and it is not a first page issue. Likewise a stronger response by the international is not in the USA interest.
    – FluidCode
    Jun 9, 2021 at 10:35
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    There is an international response - you’ve cited 2 examples in your question. If you think that isn’t enough, then that’s matter of opinion. Perhaps a direct comparison between Columbia and Belarus would be more useful, but comparing protests against police brutality and protests against a totalitarian dictator seems to be comparing apples to oranges
    – divibisan
    Jun 10, 2021 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


What draws attention (or not) from the international community and/or the media is a difficult question. Unavoidably, some issues get more coverage and/or more international reactions for many reasons. Here are some of the main factors:

  • Novelty: sadly, when some event drags for a long period of time or the same kind of event happens repeatedly, the international attention wears out. When there is little interest from the media public opinion tends to forget it, so politicians are less involved. For the media, protests against some government reform are not a very appealing topic at the international level, and sadly police brutality in South America is not really new.
  • Understanding: apart from international experts, very few people have the knowledge (or curiosity) needed to understand what these protests are about, and people are less likely to care about something that they cannot even start to comprehend.
  • The emotional impact: how do people feel about it? Most people sympathize more easily to the victims of a natural disaster or of some horrible crime. Police brutality against protesters is not acceptable, but sadly it's not horrible or exceptional enough to trigger a strong emotional response.

In Belarus protests are against Alexander Lukashenko, "Europe's last dictator", a man who clings to power against the will of the people:

  • It's very close to a democratic revolution, something which doesn't happen very often;
  • The problem is easy to understand;
  • It attracts sympathy and interest because it's a fight between the people and a man who can easily be depicted as evil.

It's easy to see how police brutality is seen as the senseless suppression of democratic voices in Belarus. Things are less clear-cut in Colombia: officially, the police are doing their job of maintaining order, they are not protecting a tyrant. Colombia is a democratic country, and the fact that the elected government tries to take some economic measures is not particularly bad by itself. This is obviously not a reason for the disproportionate use of force by the police, but it can probably explain why this is not seen as shocking as the Belarus situation.

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