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Colombians march against sexual violence in Bogotá


Alice Rogers
WVoN co-editor 

About a thousand people marched last week through the streets of Bogotá, Colombia, to call for tougher action against violence against women after the rape and murder of a 35-year-old woman.

On 23 May Rosa Elvira Cely was brutally attacked and raped in Bogotá’s National Park, which lies right in the centre of the city.

She was found with stab wounds, blows to her head and face and may have been tortured.

She died four days later in hospital.

Police have arrested a 44-year-old man in connection with the incident after bloody clothing was found at his home. A second suspect was picked up by police on Sunday.

The incident has led to an outcry in Colombia, where violence against women is widespread.

The rape and torture of women was also used a strategy of the civil war in Colombia between government military forces and leftist guerillas.

Both male and female protesters marched through the city holding placards reading, “Not one more” and “Life sentence for the rapist”.

“We regret the death of Rosa Elvira and reject violence,” said Cristina Plaza, a government minister on women’s affairs, who took part in the demonstration.

“We want quick justice in such cases, because impunity is a form of violence against women.”

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos also showed his support for the march by tweeting, “all Colombians vehemently reject any form of violence against women. We all support the march”.

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