Colombia, Women, Purity, Feminity

A number of Monoprints I am working on for a small booklet, they talk about women, feminity, purity, and the cultural and political issues in Colombia.

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        Violence against Women Perpetrated by the State and Armed Groups
It has been reported that in the year from October 1995 to September 1996, socio-political violence killed 172 women and caused the disap- pearance of 12 women. During the same year, at least 35 women were tor- tured and another 33 were threatened and harassed.40 Another report indicates higher numbers, with a woman being killed every week in com- bat, every two weeks a woman being a victim of a forced disappearance, and 363 women dying each year because of socio-political violence.41 Violence against women in the armed conflict in Colombia is committed by members of all sides of the conflict.
The Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women has reported that “women are targeted for being relatives of the ‘other’ side. Armed factions threaten and abuse women for being in solidarity with their
husbands or partners, or because of the partner they have chosen, or for protecting their sons and daughters from forced recruitment.”

Indigenous and Black Women in Colombia (ANMUCIC). On July 21, 2000, Marlen Rincón, who was the Departmental President of ANMUCIC in San Juan, was killed, allegedly by paramilitaries who accused her of providing aid to guerillas. Additionally, on September 3, 2002, para- militaries allegedly killed Gloria Marín de Borrero, another ANMUCIC leader, in the municipality of Zulia.45 This organization, in particular its president, Ms. Leonora Castaño, was granted protection by the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights on March 2, 2001.46
More recently, another member of ANMUCIC, Mrs. Nhora Cecilia Valasquez Cortes, was taken by armed men, kept overnight, and tortured because of her activities with this organization. They accused her of providing aid to the guerrilla movement. (See OMCT appeal 290703.VAW and its follow up) Mrs. Velasquez and other members of ANMUCIC continue to be harassed and receive threats because of their work.
Women’s organizations as well as individual women are put at additional risks because of their role in obtaining food. Paramilitaries reportedly intervene in attempts to collect food, accusing the women of supplying nourishment to the guerrilla movement. One such instance of intervention occurred in August 2002, to a worker with the League of Women Displaced by Violence in Bolívar, which coordinates a food program for displaced persons. When the worker went to receive food under the auspices of the program, she was met by a paramilitary and asked whether she was providing food to the guerrillas. She explained that the food was for displaced people, the paramilitary made a call on his radio, and then he warned her that her organization would be placed under surveillance by his group. Such threats discourage women from continuing their important work in providing food to displaced populations.47
Women are also vulnerable to violence in their attempts to mobilize mani- festations against the war.