Monday, October 18

The Inter-American Court rejects Colombia’s allegations in the case of journalist Jineth Bedoya | International

Jineth Bedoya, one of the leading voices against sexual violence in Latin America.
Jineth Bedoya, one of the leading voices against sexual violence in Latin America.CAMILO ROZO

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Inter-American Court) has rejected this Wednesday the controversial allegations of the Colombian State in the case of the journalist Jineth Bedoya, who was kidnapped, tortured and raped by paramilitaries in 2000 while conducting an investigation in the La Jail. Bogotá model. On Monday, Colombia had withdrawn from the virtual public hearing and chose to challenge the magistrates charged with determining their responsibility in the context of its international obligations to women journalists.

The court resolved to declare inadmissible the challenge against five of the six judges, as well as the request for annulment of all the proceedings and to exclude from the international file the questions that bothered the representatives of the Colombian State. He also declared that it is appropriate for the Inter-American Court – with its magistrates – to continue hearing the case “until its conclusion.”

The start of the hearing was greeted with expectation, but had been put on hold after Colombia’s unprecedented action, which alleged that the questions indicated bias and called the judges biased. The Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP), which accompanies the case, considered that “the attitude of the State demonstrates neglect against victims of sexual violence in the armed conflict and denies decent spaces to access justice”, and that its This action was part of a strategy to “delegitimize the Inter-American Court” and resulted in a new attempt to silence Jineth Bedoya.

“The government of Iván Duque should be ashamed of what it did before the Inter-American Court in the case of Jineth Bedoya,” reacted José Miguel Vivanco, director of Human Rights Watch for the Americas. “I have been litigating before the Inter-American Court for 25 years and this is unusual, we are surprised that the State of Colombia does what truly authoritarian governments such as the Fujimori government in Peru, Ortega’s in Nicaragua, and Maduro’s in Venezuela did not” he told the newspaper Time Viviana Krsticevic, Bedoya’s lawyer and director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL).

Before the resolution was known, Camilo Gómez, director of the National Agency for Legal Defense of the State, published a letter in which he invited Jineth Bedoya to “sit down to talk and seek a friendly solution.” In her response, Bedoya, accompanied by FLIP and CEJIL, pointed out that the publication of this “private communication, through different social networks, constitutes an act of harassment and malicious litigation, which from no point of view responds to the solemnity and dignity of the process ”.

Today’s sub-editor of the newspaper Time has sought justice for 20 years and along the way has led the campaign It is not time to shut up, with the purpose that the victims denounce their aggressors, until they become one of the main voices against sexual violence in Latin America. When I was a journalist for The viewer She was kidnapped, tortured, and raped by paramilitaries on May 25, 2000, while conducting an investigation at the La Modelo prison in Bogotá. Last year it was recognized with the Unesco World Press Freedom Prize.

On Monday he reported during the hearing that he has continued to receive incessant threats until today and that police officers were the ones who suggested that he meet paramilitary leaders in La Modelo prison, the trap that caused his kidnapping. She also testified about the revictimization that she had to face because the Prosecutor’s Office called her 12 times to testify about the sexual assault.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) referred its case to the Inter-American Court in 2019, considering that the Colombian State failed to comply with the recommendations it had made to investigate what happened and adopt measures of non-repetition, protection, prevention and reparation of the damages . For the Commission, the State was aware of the risk that Bedoya was running, but did not act to protect her.

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