After sporting Nazi uniforms and Hitler mustaches during a German ‘cultural exchange’ event, Colombian police cadets have sparked outrage.
President Ivan Duque of Colombia has apologized after police cadets dressed up as Nazis during a “cultural exchange” event honoring Germany.
Students dressed in World War II outfits, including one sporting a Hitler moustache, were photographed at the ceremony and uploaded on an official police Twitter account.
Others are wearing the SS’s black uniform, complete with the red swastika armband.
The venue was decorated with a replica Luftwaffe plane, reproductions of Nazi guns, and swastikas on the table linens, as well as a black, red, and yellow German flag and balloons in the same colors.
According to the photos, the event was kicked off by two police officers dressed in Colombian uniforms cutting a ribbon.
“From the SimonBolivar police academy in the city of Tulua, we are conducting a (hashtag)InternationalWeek with guest country (hashtag)Germany,” a police Twitter account wrote.
“Through these cultural exchanges, we are enhancing our police students’ knowledge.”
The photographs sparked outrage and incredulity on social media, causing the government a great deal of humiliation.
President Duque, on the other hand, expressed regret.
“Any apology for Nazism is reprehensible, and I condemn any demonstration that employs or alludes to symbols relating to those guilty for the Jewish Holocaust, which killed over six million Jews,” he stated.
The academy’s director was fired by the police.
The Colombian police work under the aegis of the Defense Ministry, which said in a statement that its training rules “do not envision in any way an activity such as the one that occurred yesterday.”
In a joint statement, the German and Israeli embassies in Bogota expressed their “absolute condemnation of any type of apology or manifestation of Nazism.”
Colombian police have launched a “transformation” drive to improve its image, which will include a uniform change, after receiving international criticism for their ruthless suppression of anti-government protesters earlier this year.
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