Historic Focus in Colombia on Violence Against LGBTI People

maria mercedez gomez speaking in bogota

Dear Friends,

Good news! I’m writing to share with you the government of Colombia’s unprecedented step to confront LGBTI violence nationwide.

From March 26 – 27, María Mercedes Gómez, our Latin America and Caribbean program coordinator, traveled to Bogotá at the invitation of the National Prosecutor’s Office to participate in an historic two-day meeting.

She was one of three main speakers at the conference about LGBTI violence, which brought together 75 prosecutors from all parts of the country and was attended by both the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Justice.

“This is the first time in which we have seen such strong political will to confront violence against LGBTI Colombians,” said María Mercedes. “We have to take advantage of this historic moment to move toward concrete reforms”

María Mercedes met ahead of time with Colombian LGBTI groups to develop recommendations for the authorities. In her talk to the prosecutors, she advised a systematic, centralized approach to collecting data on crimes against LGBTI people; continuing training of officials; and working closely with civil society.

After five decades of armed conflict, confronting violence wherever it is found represents a significant commitment by the National Prosecutor’s Office. Certainly, addressing anti-LGBTI violence holds great hope for Colombia’s ability to adopt justice system reforms post-conflict.

Over the months and years ahead, we look forward to updating you about María Mercedes’ continued engagement on this challenging but now promising issue.

Thank you,

Jessica Stern
Executive Director

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Photo courtesy of sentiido.com