Being LGBT in Colombia: Victims of hatred, casualties of civil war

Posted on Sep 23 2013 - 5:20pm by Rico

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The LGBTI community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual/Transgender and Intersexual) in Colombia has suffered disappearances, forced migrations, mutilations, humiliation and abuse.

The phrase “damaged bodies, silent crimes” has come to be used by this community to describe their suffering often made even worse by the civil war that has torn Colombia apart over the past decades.

In 2011, Colombia passed Law 1448, commonly known as the Victims Law or Victims Compensation Law, meant to acknowledge and offer reparation to LGBTI who have faced abuse and violence.

As of now, 374 people belonging to the LGBTI community are registered with the reparation plan. The details of the reparations are still being developed, but indemnities of 20 to 30 times the current minimum wage and personal rehabilitation, together with a number of psychological measures, are being considered.

But behind the statistics, there are the stories of 278 forced displacements reported to the government. As this is the most common complaint, the Unit for Victims has identified patterns in threats and displacements by forces of the insurgent rebels.

The narratives of disappearances and displacements are repeated over and over. El Espectador has the details of three cases that are being assessed by the Unit for Victims.