Colombia: Protesters Demand End to Violence Against Women After Death of Victim of Brutal Rape
Monday, June 11, 2012 12:20 PM

News of a brutal rape in the National Park in Bogota, Colombia provoked widespread outrage in the media and among the Colombian public. On June 3rd one thousand protesters, including politicians, musicians and peace activists, gathered in the park to march in memory of the victim and to demand an end to violence against women in the country. The marchers held flowers and signs proclaiming “Not One More.” The Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, expressed his support for the march on his Twitter account, stating that “All Colombians reject any form of violence against women.”
In 2011, 51,000 women in Colombia were victims of violence. Some protesters called for legal reforms, including harsher penalties for offenders. Activists questioned the amount of time the police took to respond to the attack, calling for a thorough review of police handling of the case. Protesters drew attention to the widespread problem of gender violence in the country. They pointed to societal indifference and judicial ineffectiveness as key obstacles to protecting women. Cristina Plaza, the High Commissioner for Women’s Equality, stated that Colombia should focus on ensuring compliance with existing laws rather than changing them. She declared that “we reject violence and impunity is a form of violence against women.”
Activists are collecting signatures from individuals and organizations in support of their campaign to end violence against women. For more information see International Day Of Mourning And Dignity For The Murder Of Rosa Elvira Cely And All Women Victims Of Abuse And Brutality In Americas.