Reporter extraordinaire Jineth Bedoya was a victim of kidnapping and rape twelve years ago. Today, she investigates the abuses committed against women in Colombia, which, she says, have increased in the last year. Women continue to be a “weapon of war.” Women face threats, repeated rapes, and forced displacement.

Bedoya says the bacrim gang, “los Urabeños,” is most to blame these days. From 80 members in 2006, they are now nearly 2000, and they have spread their power to ten departments. Like other groups, they use women as sexual slaves.

Bedoya has written a public letter to former paramilitary chief “Don Mario,” now imprisoned, asking that he do something about the violence committed against women. Bedoya believes “Don Mario” still holds power over the gang.

She wrote, “It would be a great thing that one day those men you commanded or were once close to you would understand that each women they touch or violate could be their mother, their daughter, or their sister.”

By: Paula Delgado-Kling, Talkingaboutcolombia.com