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Assassination highlights threats to Colombian women

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Summary of story from Colombia Reports, June 21, 2011

The assassination of activist Ana Fabricia Cordoba earlier this month has highlighted the violence faced by Colombian women.

Cordoba had been the leader of a group fighting for the rights of victims of forced displacement after her own husband’s murder forced her to flee her home region in 2001.

Now Teresa Aristizabal, co-ordinator for the Columbian women against violence movement “Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres”, has said Cordoba’s death has emphasized the need to:

“Make visible the risks faced by women (…) in the context of the armed conflict” and that her organization “will not rest in the struggle” to make the government recognize the situation of women as one of particular vulnerability.”

Ruta Pacifica is composed of over 300 organizations working out of nine departments in Colombia, with the objective of making women part of the process of resolving the country’s long-standing conflict by drawing on their stories and making their voices heard.

Last year, the UN also urged Colombia to take steps towards improving the situation of women in the conflict.

The UN is not alone in its concerns. According to several NGOs, Colombian courts seem reluctant to uphold the law when it comes to the violation of women’s rights.

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