San José (AFP)

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights on Monday recognized the "responsibility" of the Colombian state in the ordeal of Jineth Bedoya, a journalist kidnapped, raped and tortured in 2000 by paramilitaries.

The Colombian state has been found guilty for "the failure to investigate the threats that" the journalist, who was investigating a criminal network, said in a statement. US states (OAS) headquartered in San José, Costa Rica.

He was guilty of "violation of the rights to judicial guarantees, judicial protection and equality before the law due to lack of diligence in carrying out investigations", according to the court.

Jineth Bedoya, now 47, was working for the newspaper El Espectador when a group of paramilitaries kidnapped her on May 25, 2000 in front of La Modelo prison in Bogota, then tortured and raped for sixteen hours, before killing her on May 25, 2000. abandon naked by the side of a road.

She was investigating an arms smuggling ring at this prison when she was abducted.

At the hearing, she had implicated agents of the State, in particular an "influential" general of the police force.

The facts "could not be carried out without the consent and collaboration of the State, or at least with its tolerance," the Court said on Monday.

In March, the latter had already ordered the Colombian state to ensure "immediately" the safety of the journalist and her mother, both victims of threats.

On this occasion, the Colombian state asked the journalist for forgiveness.

The paramilitaries, some of whom have since been convicted, were part of far-right militias that fought left-wing guerrillas in Colombia, until their official demobilization in 2006.

"October 18, 2021 goes down in history as the day when a struggle, which began with an individual crime, demanded the rights of thousands of women victims of sexual violence and of women journalists who give up part of their lives in their work, "greeted on Twitter Jineth Bedoya, winner in 2020 of the UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize.

Colombia "fully accepts the sentence" reacted conservative President Ivan Duque, also on Twitter.

Ms. Bedoya "should never have been kidnapped and tortured," he added.

The Press Freedom Foundation (FLIP) welcomed this "dignified" decision for a woman who "has tirelessly sought justice for more than 20 years".

© 2021 AFP

Keywords: jineth bedoya, state, ordeal, inter-american court of human rights, threats, journalist, paramilitaries, women journalists, rape, torture, afp, responsibility, network, san josé, colombia