Colombia: Prosecutions for Rape as a Weapon of War Increase
Thursday, May 14, 2009 12:15 PM

In the last two years, cases of sexual violence filed with prosecutors appointed to carry out Colombia's special Justice and Peace Law have increased by two hundred percent.

Paramilitary forces in Colombia have been commiting systematic sexual violence throughout the country for over a decade as they took control of countless villages. Many survivors have been hesitant to report the crimes for fear of retaliation by the perpetrators.  Now, however, women's organizations in Colombia are working to raise awareness of victim's rights and to pressure prosecutors to investigate the sexual violence of paramilitaries. 

A 2006 report by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights said: "The actors in Colombia's armed conflict, particularly the paramilitaries and guerrillas, use physical, sexual, and psychological violence against women as a strategy of war." Researchers who have interviewed survivors have founnd hundreds of cases of women who were raped, mutilated and often killed or used as sex slaves.

For the full article, click here.

Compiled fromWomen's Media Center (WMC) Brief May 13, 2009:  "In Colombia, rape now being prosecuted as weapon of war" by Sibylla Brodzinsky, Christian Science Monitor, May 11, 2009.