WORLD / AMERICAS
Colombia apologizes to journalist who was raped, tortured
Published: Mar 24, 2021 09:33 PM
Colombia on Tuesday apologized to journalist Jineth Bedoya before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights over the kidnapping, rape and torture she suffered at the hands of paramilitaries two decades ago.

Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya arrives for a press conference in Bogota, on March 23, 2021. Photo: AFP

Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya arrives for a press conference in Bogota, on March 23, 2021. Photo: AFP

Bedoya has accused the Colombian state of complicity in her ordeal.

Camilo Gomez, the director of Colombia's National Agency for Legal Defense of the State, accepted "the international responsibility for the failings of the judicial system [and] for the non-fulfillment of the duty of due diligence in the investigation of threats" made against Bedoya.

The court - an autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS) - is due to rule on Colombia's responsibility for the violence inflicted on Bedoya, who was awarded a World Press Freedom award in 2000.

The state "asks Jineth Bedoya for forgiveness for these acts and for the damage they caused [and] recognizes that these omissions violated her rights to dignity, to a life plan, to personal integrity, to legal guarantees and legal protection," added Gomez.

He previously accused the court of "bias" and demanded the judges be rescued.

On March 15, Bedoya testified to the court that in 2000 she was seized by a group of right-wing paramilitaries from outside a prison in the capital Bogota and then tortured and raped for 16 hours before being abandoned on the side of a road. At the time, Bedoya was investigating an arms trafficking network operating out of the La Modelo prison.
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