Colombian movie actress released from jail

Leidy Tabares (Photo: Mundo Hispano)

The actress from a critically acclaimed Colombian movie was released from prison after serving 12 years behind bars for homicide, the movie’s director said on Thursday.

Leidy Tabares, one of the few actors from the 1998 movie “The Rose Seller” to still be alive, will be released from Colombia’s El Pedregal jail after serving 12 years of her 26- year sentence for homicide, director Victor Gaviria told Colombia Reports.

He added that Tabares is to serve the remainder of her prison term in home detention.

Gaviria’s movie tells the story of a homeless 13-year old girl making a living by selling roses on the streets in one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

The “actors” from the cast — most of whom were real-life street children — played themselves as they to survive violence, drug addiction, abuse and extreme poverty in Colombia’s second largest city, Medellin.

Gaviria took on Tabares, who played the role of the main character “Monica”, from the same streets which were portrayed in the movie.

The critically acclaimed movie was awarded for its transparent reflection of Medellin’s streets allowing Tabares to travel around the world to appear in events such as the Cannes Festival.

Many of the actors ended up back on the streets after finishing the movie and some were subsequently killed.

Gaviria expressed that Tabares was feeling happiness as well as panic before her imminent release, adding “she was very nervous to return home and see the streets of Medellin that had changed so much,” and added that she was happy to end this stage of her life.

“I don’t know what her feelings on being freed are, maybe fear of being rejected by people, but I am sure that she will quickly realize that people love her and will start building a life away from public eye, focusing on her children and her mother.” Gaviria told Colombia Reports.

At the age of 21 she was sentenced for robbery and homicide and received a 26 years sentence.


  • Interview with Victor Gaviria (Colombia Reports)

Related posts

Bogota court refuses to drop fraud and bribery charges against Uribe

Colombia’s prosecution cornered over drug links

Paramilitaries threaten to kill judges of Colombia’s war crimes tribunal