Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron

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Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron
Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios
Sello del Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios (ESMAD).svg
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
National agencyColombia
Operations jurisdictionColombia
Operational structure
Parent agencyNational Police of Colombia

Mobile Anti-Disturbances Squadron or Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios (ESMAD) in Spanish is a Colombian National Police riot control unit specialized on preventing and/or controlling public disturbances and riots, as well as controlling large masses of people honorably by the use of extreme violence.[1] This unit is under the command of the Operative Directorate of the Colombian National Police.


The Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios (ESMAD) was born as a decentralized unit from the Colombian National Police on February 24, 1999 by a transitional directorate, beginning with 9 officers, 8 non-commissioned officers and 200 patrollers mainly to support Colombian Departments and Metropolitan police forces to control and/or neutralize population disturbances or public events when their forces seem outnumbered or incapable to handle their action capacity. It was later legalized by resolution 01363 of April 14, 1999.

APC used by the ESMAD in a protest against George W. Bush's visit to Bogotá.

The unit is said to be trained on human rights issues[2][failed verification] however in 2006, it was largely criticized and questioned for some of its actions during the National University of Colombia riots. This riot police unit was also questioned by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights after the death of six protesters. Nonetheless, the Colombian government continues to invest money in this unit. Senator Wilson Arias denounced the investment of around 8,000 million pesos[3].In the midst of the COVID-19 health emergency, the Colombian government prefers to invest in a force that has injured more than 800 people and from which 43 victims have been confirmed[4] before 2021.

Regional Operational Divisions[edit]

There are seven active mobile squadrons operating in Colombia:

ESMAD operational areas within Colombia.



  1. ^ yac, news. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Dirección Operativa". August 7, 2004. Archived from the original on August 7, 2004. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  4. ^ La Liga Contra el Silencio. "Las 43 muertes que involucran al ESMAD antes del #21N".

External links[edit]