Colombian Nazi Police Spark Outrage, Government Apologizes
Colombia caused massive outrage as police cadets dressed in Nazi uniforms in a bid to "honor Germany," sparking condemnation from the latter.
Colombia on Thursday saw some police cadets dressing up in Nazi uniforms for a "cultural exchange" event under the guise of "honoring Germany," sparking diplomatic and public outrage.
Police cadets were dressed in the grey-green Wehrmacht uniforms with Nazi emblems, and one even went as far as to wear a Hitler-like mustache. Others were seen wearing the Schutzstaffel (SS) uniforms with swastika armbands and Iron Crosses.
The event all in all felt like a Nazi-honoring museum with fully-fledged replicas of Nazi aircraft and copies of firearms.
German flags and black, red, and yellow balloons decorated the venue, and it featured a replica of the Luftwaffe plane, copies of Nazi firearms, and swastikas all over the tablecloths.
"From the SimonBolivar police academy in the city of Tulua, we are organizing an #InternationalWeek with guest country #Germany. With these cultural exchanges, we are strengthening the knowledge of our police students," said the police Twitter account.
This bid to "honor Germany" caused the police academy and the Duque regime to come under fire all over social media, with people from all around the globe condemning the act that some perceived as the cadets sympathizing with Nazis.
Rechazo apología al nazismo de la Policía Nacional en #Tuluá. La fuerza pública se volvió un órgano ineficiente, lleno de torpes e ignorantes que no cumplen su labor. Las cifras de inseguridad lo demuestran. pic.twitter.com/FXnDJ8HNCd— David (@davidchala) November 19, 2021
Lo peor es que a nadie, en ningún momento se le ocurrió que era una pésima idea homenajear como país invitado a la Alemania NAZI. pic.twitter.com/IfbsPtCmdx— Jonathan Camargo ✪ (@jonathancongres) November 18, 2021
Outrage was not limited to social media, as Germany took to condemning the event through its embassy in Bogota, issuing a statement in which it rejected "any form of apology or demonstration of Nazism."
The fiasco caused the dismissal of the head of the police academy and saw the Colombian president and the defense ministry apologizing for the occurrence.
"Any apology for Nazism is unacceptable, and I condemn any demonstration" that uses or refers to Nazi symbolism, said populist right-wing Colombian President Ivan Duque on Twitter.
The Defense Ministry, to which the Colombian police belongs, issued a statement saying its training guidelines "do not envisage in any way an activity such as the one which took place yesterday."
The right-wing Colombian government has long been internationally criticized for its brutal and violent suppression of anti-government protests, which saw the Colombian police disappearing or even taking the lives of those who dared protest against Duque's regime.