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  • Half-naked female students take part in a march against violence against women in Bogota on Feb. 25, 2012.

    Half-naked female students take part in a march against violence against women in Bogota on Feb. 25, 2012. | Photo: AFP

Published 8 March 2016

Experts on justice for sexual violence in Colombia have described the situation of impunity as unacceptable and called for action.

In an ongoing crisis of gendered injustice, 97 percent of cases of sexual violence against women and related to Colombia’s armed conflict remain unpunished, according to data released on Tuesday.

A Colombian monitoring committee on sexual violence said the situation of impunity over the past more than seven years since the group raised the issue of the constitutional failure to guarantee justice for victims has been “disappointing.”

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The group found that Colombia’s plan and efforts to investigate over 600 acts of sexual violence against more than 750 victims has had little to no impact after failing to consider structural barriers to justice.

"From Colombia's Victims Unity we work to guarantee the rights of the women victims of the conflict."

The advocates expressed concern that the prosecutor’s office has failed to create a standard protocol and strategy to investigate gender violence, pointing to “serious differentiation” between cases that “affects women’s right to equality.”

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Out of 634 cases noted in the report, the perpetrator was not identified in the majority of abuses, 285 cases. Paramilitaries and criminal groups made up the largest identified group of perpetrators as those responsible for 170 abuses.

In the remaining less than 30 percent of cases, 57 were perpetrated by guerilla groups, 44 by police, 35 by unidentified armed groups, 11 by paramilitary and government forces, and 32 by civilians.

According to official statistics, over 3.9 million women have been victims of Colombia’s more than 50-year armed conflict by displacement, threats, forced disappearances, and death.

Last year, ABC Colombia reported that impunity in cases of sexual violence against women remained unpunished, but also emphasized that only 18 percent of cases were actually reported by the victims.

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