Witness Reports

Colombia

Colombia Web

One woman, without identifying her assailants, told the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women in 2001:

“A group of armed men broke down the door of our home while we were sleeping; they knocked over the furniture and broke everything. They tied my father to a chair. They opened my legs and tied one leg to the wardrobe and the other to the bed. They insulted and threatened us. They raped my sister and me. Later we realized the same had happened to our neighbors and a young girl from the village was taken to hospital for her injuries.”

In the same report, another survivor shared her testimony:

“Paramilitaries wore balaclavas. They forced women to cook for them. They only raped the young girls. Their party went on for four days. The bodies were already beginning to rot in the streets. Some of the bodies were burnt so they couldn’t be identified.”

A 2009 Oxfam briefing paper on sexualized violence in Colombia quoted one woman from Bogotá:

“It was nighttime. Two men with guns and wearing camouflage military uniforms came. … They took my husband outside, pointing the gun at him the whole time. … I was able to calm our little girl, and I sang to her until she fell asleep. Then one of the men took me from the room to the hallway to interrogate me. He threatened to kill me if I resisted. He took off my clothes, he covered my mouth and he forced himself on me. He raped me. Afterward he told me to get dressed and then he said: ‘Nothing happened here. That, after all, is what women are for.’”

 A displaced woman, interviewed by Amnesty International in 2003, described hearing a nearby attack:

“A stick was pushed into the private parts of an 18-year-old pregnant girl and it appeared through [the abdomen]. She was torn apart. They [army-backed paramilitaries] stripped the women and made them dance in front of their husbands. Several were raped. You could hear the screams coming from a ranch near El Salado."