In the last days, Popayan has been one of the centers of attention of the national strike in Colombia that began on April 28 as a protest mechanism against the government national, some of his policies and even, the rejection by the police abuse to which many citizens have been subjected during the days.

Since last May 12, in the capital of the department of Cauca, two acts of sexual violence have been made known through social networks. The first was that of Alison melendez, a 17-year-old girl who committed suicide after reporting abuse by Esmad agents during the protests.

And the second refers to an 18-year-old woman, who was also abused and ended up with serious psychological damage. The young woman expressed in an Immediate Reaction Unit (URI) that members of Esmad wanted to “lick” and “rape” her.

Regarding this case, the victim’s mother spoke to the newspaper about what happened.

First, the lady explained that she is brigadier, a volunteer nursing assistant in a humanitarian group that provides first aid to people injured during the marches, and who on May 12 attended the marches with her daughter so that she could collaborate with her during the day together with other of her colleagues.

When the riots began in the afternoon, she was going for the Chirimía sector with her daughter, who went ahead a few blocks, she said.

From then on she did not find her daughter anymore. When she found her, in the midst of the riots, she says that she could not approach her because the uniformed men attacked her:

“I just wanted to get there and take my girl from them; that if they were going to do something to her, they should do it to me and not to her. They grabbed her by the hair, threw her to the ground and I felt helpless, in pain, in anger.” She said.

Already at the URI in Popayán she was able to pick her up after some policemen asked her for the documentation of the young woman.

“I hugged her and asked her what had been done to her inside the URI and she said not there, but outside yes. ‘Yes mija, I know that outside they did things to you,’ I said.”

Feminist groups hold a sit-in in Cai San Diego (Bogotá) for the abuses of the public force against women in the framework of the National Strike. (Colprensa-Sergio Acero).

When asked about her daughter’s version, the mother asserted that “the police said to her ‘what are you doing on the street?’, ‘why aren’t you at home cooking?’, ‘comb your hair’, ‘how delicious to lick you’, ‘lower your pants to r*pe you’.”

Finally, the lady attacked the statements of the Police Brigadier General, Ricardo Augusto Alarcón Campo, when she called “false” the news about the suicide of the young Alison after being allegedly abused by Esmad men.

“With a word or by touching her body, without her authorization, a woman is already being sexually violated. The other minor was almost undressed by four policemen in the street. My daughter, among six policemen, had her dignity destroyed. That man does not have the moral authority to go out to defend a police force that is being brutally inhuman,” she concluded.


Until this Sunday, May 16, the NGO Tremors reported having received, at least, 16 cases of sexual abuse perpetrated by the police against female protesters.

Emilia Márquez, a researcher for this organization, expressed with concern that this figure could be much higher: “We know that we are underreporting simply because we are not enough to get to all the information and because not all the violated people report”.

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