By Cake Staff:
A heinous kidnapping, rape and murder of a child in Bogota, Colombia brought hundreds out on the street in angry protest on December 6. Her name was Yuliana Andrea Samboní, and she was seven years old, belonging to an indigenous and largely underprivileged community called the Yanakuna.
The accused, a wealthy architect named Rafael Uribe Noguera, was apprehended at a drug rehabilitation centre, shortly after the body was found in his home. Uribe had abducted the child from near her home and driven back to his own in Chapinero.
— Armando Bocca (@abocca73) December 6, 2016
— Drew (@shamelessIut) December 7, 2016
#YoSoyYuliana this could’ve been my little sister. My thoughts are with her family
— s (@sanDIIIEEEE) December 8, 2016
Twitter users have been tweeting their anger, prayers, and grief with the hashtag #YoSoyYuliana (I Am Yuliana) and #NiUnaMenos (Not One Woman Less). The latter was also used during similar protests in Argentina, which broke out this September after a group of men drugged and raped a 16-year-old girl named Lucía Pérez, who died of a cardiac arrest during the assault.
Colombia has a massive child sex abuse problem. Last year, Semana Magazine reported that 81% of those cases never make it past the inquiry phase. But the larger issue of sexual violence is frequent and systemic.
A campaign survey by Violaciones Y Otras Violencias (Rape and other Violence) found that between 2001 and 2009, “489,687 women were victims of sexual violence,” and a staggering majority never reported the crimes committed against them. A more recent report revealed that 98% of those booked for these crimes are let off the hook. All of this forced Colombia to adopt Congressional Law 1719 in June, 2014. The law provides for psychosocial support and medical care for survivors, and adds to its ambit crimes like forced sterilization, forced pregnancy and forced nudity, and now also covers crimes against women human rights defenders.
Semana Magazine reports that security camera footage from Uribe’s apartment has been seized, and the investigation of Yuliana’s death continues. And we can only hope that Uribe does not go unpunished like so many do.