COLOMBIA: Colombians March in Honour of Bogota Rape Victim

Sunday, June 3, 2012
BBC News
South America
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Thousands of people joined a march in the Colombian capital to demand justice in a case of rape and murder that has shocked the country.

Rosa Elvira Cely, a single mother who worked selling sweets in the streets of Bogota, was attacked on 23 May. She died four days later of her injuries.

Her story has led to an outcry in Colombia, where more than 51,000 women were victims of violence last year.

Demonstrators called for tougher punishments for rapists.

Politicians, musicians and peace activists were among the thousands of people who gathered at the National Park, in the centre of the capital.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos wrote on his Twitter account that he supported the march, saying: "All Colombians reject any form of violence against women."

Rosa Elvira Cely, 35, was found semi-naked and with signs of torture in the middle of the night at the National Park.

She was discovered after making a call to an emergency line from her mobile phone.

A 44-year-old man, Javier Valasco, was arrested on Friday accused of torturing and killing her.

A second suspect was also detained on Sunday.