Historic ruling: the Inter-American Court holds the Colombian state responsible for kidnapping and torture against journalist Jineth Bedoya

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In a historic ruling, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights concluded this Monday that the State of Colombia is responsible for the violation of the rights to personal integrity, personal freedom, honor, dignity and freedom of expression that journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima suffered the May 25, 2000.

In the long-awaited sentence, the agency recalled that that day a group of paramilitaries intercepted and kidnapped the journalist at the gates of the La Modelo Prison, and then subjected her to humiliating and extremely violent treatment, during which suffered serious verbal, physical and sexual assaults.

He also warned about the existence of “serious, precise and concordant indications” about state participation in these events, which had been a permanent claim of Bedoya in the last two decades.

“The international responsibility of the State was declared for the violation of the rights to judicial guarantees, judicial protection and equality before the law, by lack of due diligence when conducting investigations regarding said facts, the gender-based discriminatory nature of said investigations and the violation of the reasonable period of time, “the Court explained in a release.

It added that the rights of the victim were violated as well as those of his mother, Luz Nelly Lima, since the State did not grant them guarantees or judicial protection despite the threats suffered before and after the kidnapping.

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When the events occurred, Bedoya was covering in the newspaper El Espectador the war waged by paramilitaries and the guerrillas in La Modelo prison. The attacks against him remained unpunished until In May 2019, the paramilitaries Jesús Emiro Pereira, Alejandro Cárdenas, and Mario Jaimes Mejía were convicted.

However, the journalist always denounced that they had not been the only culprits and that more than 20 people had organized to attack her, among them State agents who were never called to appear by justice.

In addition to agreeing with him, the Court ordered a series of reparation measures, including promoting and continuing the investigations to determine, prosecute and, where appropriate, punish those remaining responsible for the acts of violence and torture suffered by the woman. journalist.

In addition, it ordered the creation and implementation of a training and awareness plan for public officials, security forces and justice operators so that they learn to identify acts and manifestations of violence against women gender-based issues that affect female journalists.

The ruling includes the creation of a state memory and dignity center for all women victims of sexual violence in the context of the armed conflict and investigative journalism, with specific recognition of the work of journalists, as well as the design and implementation of a system for collecting data and figures related to the cases of violence they suffer.

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On the other hand, it aims to create a Fund that finances prevention and assistance programs for women journalists who are victims of violence, as well as for the adoption of effective protection measures to guarantee the safety of those who are subjected to a special risk due to the exercise of violence. your profession.

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