Operation Siloé Event Reconstruction

A reconstruction of a deadly assault on a vigil by Colombian security forces in the Siloé neighborhood of Cali, Colombia on May 3, 2021.


Victims’ families


Amnesty International


Cali, Colombia



Throughout 2021, thousands in Colombia protested against increased taxes, corruption, and health care reform proposed by the government, demanding greater equality and guarantees of economic, social and cultural rights. Demonstrations in various cities including Medellin, Bogota, and Cali were met by state-sanctioned violence and repression. Human rights organizations have confirmed the death of dozens of people from April to September of 2021. The night of May 3, 2021 saw heavy violence by armed forces suppressing demonstrations across Cali. In the neighborhood of Siloé, three protesters were killed as they attended a vigil commemorating a demonstrator killed the previous day.

SITU Research collaborated with Amnesty International's Crisis Evidence Lab to analyze more than 200 audiovisual assets and pieces of testimony. These materials helped verify and illustrate the details of “Operation Siloé”: a joint incursion by National Police officials, members of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD), and members of the Special Operations Group of the Colombian National Police (GOES) against demonstrators at La Glorieta roundabout in Siloé. The findings of the analysis were assembled into a reconstruction that details the violent incursion on the peaceful gathering, culminating in the death of a young, local football player, Kevin Agudelo.

Read the complete press release from Amnesty International here.

The methodology for this reconstruction centered around a bespoke digital model. Existing satellite and street-level imagery lacking sufficient detail, the team undertook mission planning with partners on the ground to create a photogrammetric model of the site. Collaborators on the ground skilled in drone flight provided information on local regulations, and in turn were briefed on optimal angles and flight patterns for effective capture of the urban environment.

The drone footage was processed into a georeferenced, high-resolution model of the La Glorieta roundabout, where the vigil and subsequent police incursion took place. This virtual environment enabled the placement, verification, and cross-referencing of source footage. With guidance from collaborators, including victims’ families, a set of investigative priorities was composed which included questions around potential bullet trajectories and positioning of police forces. Verified audio-visual material was placed within the digital model, creating a comprehensive environment within which the team investigated key questions.

These methods allowed the team to reconstruct the night’s events, detailing the attack up to the moments in which Kevin Agudelo was killed. This reconstruction is slated for use in future court proceedings. We hope the video will support efforts to advance the investigation and potential litigation of human rights violations committed during this police operation and adjacent events.