Colombian Women’s Rights Defenders Attacked on Eve of Anniversary of Court Decision Decriminalizing Abortion


The following is an alert received tonight from our colleagues in Colombia, including a request for donations. Please help if you can.

On the eve of the sixth anniversary of the historic decision that decriminalized abortion in Colombia, threats have escalated against human rights activist Monica Roa and Women’s Link Worldwide where she works as Programs Director. On the evening of May 7, at approximately 6:30 PM an unidentified person shot at the office in Bogota where Monica and two Women’s Link Worldwide colleagues were working. The bullet broke the office window security glass above Monica’s head. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Sadly this is not an isolated incident. This scare tactic comes at a time when the work to implement the right to an abortion in Colombia is under fierce attack. Just two months ago on March 1, Women’s Link learned that a criminal complaint had been filed against Monica by one of the country’s highest judicial officials, Ilva Miriam Hoyos, Deputy Procuradora.* To date, the complaint has not been made public.

Subsequently, the pattern of intimidation continued. On April 23, a computer was stolen through a window from the Women’s Link offices. This week’s violence only further affirms the escalating danger.

Women’s Link Worldwide is taking the necessary measures to secure the physical safety of Monica, the organization’s staff, and our office.  We request that the international community speak out NOW against these threats to a courageous human rights defender, our organization, and our efforts to implement a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion. We also ask that the international community call on the Colombian government to investigate the criminal activity, effectively protect activists, and safeguard reproductive rights.

To donate to our emergency fund for assisting Monica and our efforts to defend the right to an abortion in Colombia, please donate online by clicking here.

You can also send a check to Women’s Link Worldwide at: P.O. Box 415 Northfield, Vermont 05663 USA

Thank you for your support of Monica and Women’s Link Worldwide.  We are most grateful.

 

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Follow Jodi Jacobson on twitter: @jljacobson