J Balvin is among the Latino artists speaking out about police brutality in Latin America
As protests spread across the United States demanding racial justice following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, the 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer and fellowLatin music artists are also breaking their silence on Anderson Arboleda, a young black man who recently died at the hands of police in Colombia.
On May 19, Arboleda, a 19-year-old man of Afro-descent, was allegedly beaten outside his home by local police officers for breaking the quarantine curfew.
He was reportedly hit multiple times on the head with a baton and tear-gassed, according to his mother Claudia Arboleda, reports El Tiempo. Arboleda, who aspired to become a soldier of the Military Police and sold face masks in his town, was pronounced dead due to brain death on May 20 at Valle del Lili clinic in Cali.
Arboleda’s story came to light in a tweet by ChocQuibTown’s Goyo (real name: Gloria Martinez), just days after a video of Floyd’s death surfaced showing police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck.
“Racism is when police murder a young negro in Puerto Tejada supposedly for failing to comply with the quarantine. And this isn’t reported by big media outlets. Is this not enough to outrage a country?”
In an Instagram post, J Balvins hared Arboleda’s story and publicly asked for justice. “One of the things that doesn’t let me sleep at night is injustice and that’s why I ask for Anderson Arboleda’s death to be investigated,” he expressed. “I raise a voice of protest and justice […] there is also racism here [in Colombia] and that is why I want to denounce it.”
El Tiempo reports that commander of the Cauca police, Colonel Rosemberg Novoa, is investigating the case.
Outside of the U.S., the recent death of Arboleda brings to the forefront the seriousness of police brutality and racism around the world.
In Mexico, activists and artists like Alejandro Fernandez and Salma Hayek, are also demanding justice for Giovanni Lopez, who was recently allegedly tortured and killed by police in Jalisco, Mexico for not wearing a mask that was also caught on video.
With the world taking notice of cases of racism and police brutality, artists have taken to social media to condemn the acts and demand justice for the families of the victims.