A woman in Colombia’s witness protection program has claimed she and those close to her have been murdered and tortured despite her apparent protection reported El Espectador Thursday.
The woman filed a criminal complaint with the National Unit for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in Riohacha, in the northern Colombian department of La Guajira, as well as with the National Anti-Narcotics and Maritime Interdiction Unit in Caribbean coastal town of Santa Marta, Magdalena department.
The victim has also been directed to the Inpsector General and the Minister of Interior and Justice to describe conditions for her and her family while in the program.
According to the victim’s husband, police in 2007 kidnapped the woman — at that time she was still a minor — and beat and tortured her until she gave up information that led to the capture of her mother, a member of the “La Cordillera” drug trafficking organization headed by extradited drug lord, Mario Jimenez, alias “Macaco.”
The victim’s testimony helped to bring down key figures and dismantle the “La Cordillera” organization.
After becoming an seemingly unwilling informant against her mother, the victim was placed in the witness protection program along with her family and they were reportedly moved from city to city throughout Colombia.
The victim reports continuing threats, harassment and abuse while in witness protection, including the February 14, 2008, kidnapping and torture of her husband and the murder of her mother-in-law in February of last year.
Despite being in the program, the victims say they are still very much in harms way.