COLOMBIA: Bogota Displaced Leaders Threatened by Paramilitaries

Thursday, July 15, 2010
Colombia Reports
South America
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Human Rights

Female leaders of the Bogota's displaced population are being threatened by paramilitary organizations, according to a Green Party councilor.

Councilor Antonio Sanguino told RCN Radio that over the last three months a number of women representing displaced groups had been the subject of death threats, intimidating telephone calls, and graffiti, thought to be by paramilitary successor groups "Los Rastrojos" and "Aguilas Negras."

Sanguino said the threats were directly related to recent claims for rights, compensation and housing made by the women, many of whom have been forced to flee their homes due to armed conflict.

The politician said the state was responsible for the neglect of the women's safety, in particular blaming Bogota's government secretary.

Colombia has the second largest population of internally displaced persons in the world, after Sudan. Latest estimates from the U.N. say forcible displacement affects 3.3 million Colombians, around 7% of the population.