From the editors

Oxfam Working Paper: Sexual Violence in Colombia (September 2009)

This Oxfam Working Paper highlights how during 50 years of armed conflict in Colombia, sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war by guerrillas, military forces and paramilitaries. Sexual violence during conflict is used as a means of humiliation, breaking down society and controlling the most intimate aspects of women’s lives.

This paper explores how sexual violence in Colombia has become routine practice amongst combatants. Lack of accountability for the perpetrators and a state system of denial has meant many women are unwilling to report or testify in cases of sexual violence.

"The use of sexual violence is far from sporadic. It has become a generalized and systematic practice; a normal aspect of the armed conflict. In spite of this situation, the impunity that envelops these types of crimes has converted Colombian women into the hidden victims of this conflict…"

The Economist

Description: The article 'From the Guerrilla’s Mouth' looks at the relationship between Colombia and Ecuador following accusations against Ecuador’s President, Rafael Correa, for receiving money from the FARC to finance his 2006 presidential campaign.