The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) has sentenced the Colombian state 21 years after the events of the kidnapping, torture and rape of the journalist Jineth Bedoya, who is now the deputy editor of the newspaper “El Tiempo”.
Bedoya also heads the No Es Hora De Callar campaign against sexual and gender-based violence, for which she has been recognized and recognized in other countries.
“The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has held the State of Colombia internationally responsible for violating the rights to personal integrity, personal freedom, honor, dignity and freedom of expression to the detriment of journalist Jineth Bedoya,” the agency said in a statement. .
In addition to collecting the version about the involvement of paramilitaries in the attack, the court found that there was “serious, precise and consistent evidence” of state involvement in the events.
“The international responsibility of the state has been declared for the violation of the rights to judicial guarantees, legal protection and equality before the law due to the lack of care in conducting investigations into these facts, the discriminatory nature based on the sex of the facts cited investigations and the violation of the reasonable Deadline “, it continues in the IAHR text.
As a remedial measure, the IACHR has ordered “to promote and pursue the investigations necessary to identify, judge and, if necessary, punish those responsible for the acts of violence and torture suffered by Ms. Bedoya”.
In addition, it is called for “to ensure the dissemination of the transmedia program ‘No es hora de callar’, which is broadcast via the public media system” and “the creation and implementation of a training and awareness-raising plan for civil servants, security forces and judicial authorities, ( …) to identify acts and manifestations of violence against women “.
It is also proposed to create a “state center for the memory and dignity of all women victims of sexual violence in the context of armed conflict and investigative journalism, with a special focus on the work of women journalists”.
It also requires a system to collect data and figures on cases of violence against journalists and gender-based violence against journalists and to create a fund to finance programs for the prevention, protection and support of women journalists and “the amounts set in the judgment for Rehabilitation, material and immaterial damage and costs to be paid. “
It also provides for $ 25,000 in compensation for Bedoya and $ 15,000 for his mother, Luz Nelly Lima, for property damage, while non-pecuniary damage includes $ 90,000 in compensation for Bedoya and 20,000 (17,200 euros) for Lima.
In Colombia, the process has been characterized by impunity with inadequate investigations, inexplicable delays and procedural obstacles that have prevented the entire chain of crimes from being reached.
One of these episodes occurred at a hearing in March when the IACHR advanced with Bedoya’s testimony and the State Legal Defense Agency (ANDJE) pulled out of the trial mid-trial, telling judges not to investigate the case, a request that was unsuccessful.
On May 25, 2000, the journalist who works for the newspaper “El Espectador” was kidnapped at the door of La Modelo prison in Bogotá amid a struggle for control of the courtyards between paramilitaries, guerrillas and gangsters. Inside there were murders, kidnappings, torture and enforced disappearances, all of which Bedoya denounced.
The journalist had traveled to prison with former paramilitary Mario Jaimes Mejía aka ‘el Panadero’, but it turned out to be a trap: at the prison door itself, she was threatened by an armed man who led her to a cellar near the prison .
She was later taken to Villavicencio in a vehicle and suffered torture, ill-treatment and ill-treatment along the way. The case was practically closed for a decade until, after a change in prosecution in 2012, three people were linked, the only convicts to date.
Former military personnel Alejandro Cárdenas (“JJ”) and Jesús Emiro Pereira Rivera (“Huevoepizca”) were sentenced to 30 and 40 years in prison, respectively, and “El Panadero” to 28 years in prison. But Bedoya demands impunity for the intellectual writers.