In this Latin American country of 47 million people where on average one woman is killed every two days, the issue of femicide – defined as the killing of a woman by a man because of her gender – is under the spotlight. The law, which came into effect July 6, makes femicide a distinct and legally defined crime, with jail sentences of 20 to 41 years. The challenge now is enforcement of the law and ensuring that police, prosecutors and forensic experts are trained to identify and investigate cases of femicide. The prosecutor’s office needs to “change the way femicides are investigated from the scene of the crime to the courtroom,” Miguel Emilio La Rota, head of public policy and planning at Colombia’s attorney general’s office, told officials and women’s rights campaigners at a conference in Bogota on Wednesday. Experts say new protocols and techniques for autopsies on murdered women and guidelines on clues to possible femicide – such as torture, rape, genital mutilation – need to be implemented. Colombia follows 15 other countries in Latin America that have passed laws in recent years that define and punish femicide as a specific crime. “The law sends a very direct… Read full this story
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