A delegate for women displaced by violence in Colombia’s inspector general’s office Thursday said the government is failing to provide protection especially for women and also alleged corruption.
According to El Tiempo, the Inspector General’s infancy and childhood delegate, Ilva Miryam Hoyos criticized the government’s program for the protection of forcibly displaced women claiming, “The agents assigned to us for our protection aligned with ‘Los Urabeños‘. We don’t trust them. They don’t protect us, instead they monitor what we’re doing and take our provisions, including elements they had given us to improve our projects.”
The claim that Los Urabeños are somehow connected to the government’s aid program for displaced persons is significant because Los Urabeños are a neo-paramilitary organization that was born out of the demobilization of the former umbrella paramilitary organization AUC; which had a history of displacing and abusing Colombian citizens.
The Inspector General is reportedly responsible for receiving complaints from displaced persons, informing them of their rights under the Constitution, directing them to organizations that can help and following up on the cases to ensure they were conducted in a timely manner. They also have the responsibility of monitoring the public institutions that aid displaced persons.
The hearing on “action for the protection of the displaced population” in Colombia’s constitutional court witnessed a troubling portrayal of the vulnerability of these Colombians and the government’s shortfalls in helping them.
An advisor to the Prosecutor General on issues of sexual violence and displacement, Maria Cecilia Cordoba, reported that there are currently 106 cases related to threats against women relating to displacement. Eleven of these are homicide cases and seven pertain to sexual abuse.
Human Rights Watch published a report in 2012 that claimed, “Approximately two million internally displaced women and girls face high rates of rape and domestic violence.” They also claimed women are frequently denied justice due to unjustified delays, poorly trained officials and fear of reprisal.
BACKGROUND: Colombia’s displaced women poorly protected: HRW
Hoyos furthered her expression of dissatisfaction with the Colombian government to the court saying schemes designed for protection have not delivered the expected results and, “on a scale from 1 to 100 the programs do not reach 20.”
The United Nations Refugee Center (UNHCR) reported that approximately 3.8 million Colombians are currently displaced by violence.