KAIROS denounces the feminicide of María Angélica Polanco Medina of Barrancabermeja, Colombia
“It is with pain that we once again witness barbarism, dehumanization, and cruelty on the bodies of women.”Organización Femenina Popular
On July 22, the Organización Femenina Popular (OFP), a KAIROS partner, released a statement mourning the death and denouncing the feminicide of María Angélica Polanco Medina, an educator and resident of Barrancabermeja, Colombia. Angélica’s remains were found sixty hours after she was reported missing. According to the OFP, at least 241 other women and girls have been killed in Colombia between January and June of this year.
Gender-based violence across the globe has only intensified during the pandemic as women and children are forced to be in closed quarters with their abusers. Governmental directives intended to curtail the spread of the coronavirus have exposed the pre-existing, systemic fissures that women and children face.
KAIROS joins the OFP in grief and outrage, denouncing the killing of Angélica Polanco. We support the OFP’s demands and urge Colombian authorities to heed them.
The OFP demands that:
- Authorities act diligently to apprehend and bring to justice Angélica’s killer and protect her family and any potential witnesses.
- The community respect Angelica and her family and refrain from re-victimizing her.
- The governments of the municipality of Barrancabermeja and the department of Santander create a Security Council that analyzes the risks and vulnerabilities women, children, and youth face due to stay at home directives.
- The state declare a National Feminicide Emergency so that the Colombian government can comply with its obligation to prevent, attend to, and sanction violence against women amid the pandemic.