Threats against Bogotá social leader
During the first week of August,
threats against the security of LGBTI social leader Leonardo Fabio made
Fabio, who is 25 years old and
works with community action groups defending the rights of LGBTI persons,
received printed flyers signed by the AUC and Águilas Negras threatening
to ‘disappear’ him for being a “marica leader” and a “defender of maricas”
and “those who shouldn’t be defended.”
Fabio was later attacked and
beaten, and although he requested assistance from the National Office of
Protection, the Office’s approval process will last at least three months.
Currently, local police are conducting visits to verify his safety. However,
while under this protection, Fabio has found new pamphlets at his home
threatening him for having gone to the authorities. The week of August 8th,
he was attacked by the same perpetrators as before. This time, he was loaded
into a car, robbed of all his possessions and left in a field in Suba.
This situation reveals the
concerning level of vulnerability that all people recognized as LGBTI leaders
experience across Colombia. Fabio’s plight is all the more concerning given that
he lives in the city where the government has the greatest ability to protect
the safety of social leaders. The facts of his case make clear that not even in
Bogotá can the authorities guarantee the safety of these leaders, who
constantly suffer threats and attacks in retaliation for their human rights
The Caribbean Region: violence and resistance
The vulnerability of LGBTI
Colombians and the lack of protections for this population are on full display
in the Caribbean region, where two LGBTI persons were killed during August.
The first victim was reported
during the afternoon of August 1st. Ariel López Romero, a
43-year-old gay man, was found with his throat cut at his house in Soledad,
Atlántico department. López was a language teacher and gave training workshops
for the LGBT community at the Casa de Paz de Soledad through the organization
According to Caribe Afirmativo, López
had not previously received any threats. The group noted an increase in
homicides against gay men in their homes, along with a general increase of
violence against LGBTI persons in the Caribbean.
López’s homicide is the eighth
recorded killing of an LGBTI person since 2018, according to the organization’s
count. The organization’s presence in the region allows it to maintain a
registry of these crimes, which would otherwise go unreported due to a lack of
social organizations and of state action.
Daniela Martínez, a 53-year-old
trans woman, was killed on August 21st in the town of Cicuco, in the
south of Bolivar department. Her homicide, in which three persons accosted her
on the street and beat her with shoes, stones and other blunt objects,
generated outrage in the community. The attack left her seriously injured; she
ultimately died of wounds to her head.
According to Caribe Afirmativo,
who made the initial report of her death, Martínez had also been attacked in
public in May, when she was tied up and burned by her assailants. The
organization contacted Colombian authorities to inform them of the facts of the
case and ensure that the attack is investigated as part of a pattern of cruel
and systematic violence.
Rights in Danger? Proposed law would affect same-sex
Senator María del Rosario Guerra
of the Centro Democrático party proposed a law that would extend the right of
conscientious objection for religious, philosophical, ethical or moral
objections to those acting in the name of legal persons or public institutions.
This proposal, which will be debated in the coming months, represents a
particular danger in cases wherein a notary could refuse to confirm same-sex
The proposal will generate a
fierce debate in Congress, considering that the law would cover conscientious
objection not only in this area, but also in disputed cases of abortion and