The statements by the congresswoman Victora Sandino of the Common Revolutionary Alternative Force (FARC) regarding the debate on abortion in Colombia sparked outrage.
The now-congresswoman, who has a seat thanks to the agreement signed between the government of former president Juan Manuel Santos and the guerrilla group in 2016, said on Twitter that “women’s lives are seriously affected by clandestine or botched abortions.”
La vida de las mujeres se ve seriamente afectada por abortos clandestinos o mal practicados debido a infinidad de barreras de acceso a ese derecho. No estar de acuerdo con que este procedimiento se haga de forma segura no es ser provida, es más bien lo contrario. pic.twitter.com/1fHFPTsiB5
— Victoria Sandino (@SandinoVictoria) February 12, 2020
Strictly speaking, what the former guerrilla chief said is true. There is scientific evidence that procedures carried out underground pose a risk to women’s lives. What seems paradoxical is that Sandino has been publicly questioned on several occasions and accused by victims of the FARC of ordering and executing abortions in the Colombian jungle.
It is worth recalling the disagreement between Yamile Moscue and Sandino when the reform seeking to create a new chamber in the Special Jurisdiction of Peace (JEP) to try military personnel were being discussed in 2018.
“Senator Victoria Sandino was a member of the joint command that is directly the murderer of hundreds of girls ho died after they were forced to undergo abortions without the necessary safety measures, and that is why hundreds of girls died,” Moscue said.
Moscue, who is part of the Rosa Blanca Corporation, which brings together victims of sexual violence by the FARC guerrillas, expressed her feelings as a victim and said, “she has the blood of hundreds of innocent children on her hands.”
A report presented by Women’s Link Worldwide to the JEP in 2019 shows that at least 1,000 abortions per year were performed in the FARC guerrillas. The report accounts for under-counting.
The 98-page report adds that there was “active and decisive participation by the Secretariat of the General Staff of the FARC” in the practice of sexual crimes as these behaviors “were explicitly imposed since the Eighth National Conference” in 1993.
Among the methods used to prevent women from conceiving children in the forest, Dilations and Curettages were performed without anesthesia, or in some cases, sedatives used for animals were administered. The only way for a pregnant woman wh to give birth within the armed organization was if her father was a FARC guerrilla.
Currently, the JEP is looking into the 007 case that investigates the forced recruitment of minors. This jurisdiction may study the sexual violence exercised during years of armed conflict, mainly against girls.
Meanwhile, in the legal system, Sandino calls herself a “Fariana, feminist, and fighter for peace” and says she is in favor of women and the struggle for a life free of violence. Regarding the accusations of the women of the White Rose Corporation, she has also said that the Democratic Centre party is using the women and that she is at the disposal of the JEP as long as they investigate the cases.