Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only shake you down once a year, but when we do we really mean it. It costs a lot to keep the site afloat, and our growing audience, well over TWO million unique viewers a month, eats up a lot of bandwidth — and bandwidth isn’t free. We aren’t supported by corporate donors, advertisers or big foundations. We survive solely on your support.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Colombia’s Forgotten Prisoners

by ALFREDO CASTRO

Along with dozens of other female political prisoners, campesino leader Luz Perly Cordoba lives behind bars in the Bogota women’s prison, El Buen Pastor. They are forced to sleep in the dirt of the floor, and their babies will grow up in confinement.

“These women live each day as if it were their last” says journalist Sara Cifuentes of the Colombian weekly VOZ.

Cifuentes follows the desperate situation of the women imprisoned in the “Buen Pastor” prison closely. The women lack milk, towels, linen and toys for their children. They sleep bundled together on the floor.

According to Cifuentes, “they are an example of tenacity, valor and solidarity. They preserve for themselves and for their children the hope that the world can be made better, even though it today denies them milk, linen and medicine for their babies.”

84 women are confined in Yard Six of the “Buen Pastor”: “The Good Shepherd” in English. Of these 84, 54 are accused of various crimes such as rebellion and terrorism, and only 29 have been convicted–ten to terms between 16 and 40 years. The remainder have not been judged guilty, but remain detained, many together with their small children.

Several are victims of so called “miraculous fishing expeditions”, massive detentions carried out by the Armed Forces with the objective of capturing opponents of the regime.

One of the prisoners is Luz Perly Cordoba, a leader of the National Trade Union Federation of Rural Workers, FENSUAGRO. Known as an energetic defender of peasant rights, she is now imprisoned, accused of rebellion.

In a letter sent to ANNCOL from The Good Shepherd, she writes: “Today, there are hundreds of leaders from the rural workers’ movement and other popular movements who, like me, are denied their liberty, torn from their families and their communities, accused of rebellion. This is the product of the intolerance of a regime which has taken to demonizing and stigmatizing as rebels all those who dare to differ and to dissent from their unacceptable social and economic policies.”

She adds that, despite the persecution, “we will not renounce our struggle and our dreams, which are more alive today than ever.”

Two women share each of the cells of Yard Six in the women’s prison, one sleeping on the floor and the other on the bunk. There are six mothers with babies between two and nine months old, and one with a girl of three years.

“But the circumstances are more difficult than one would think”, explains Sara Cifuentes.

“Of the 84 prisoners, 63 are single parents. There are 20 women with one child, 17 with two children, 11 with three, nine with four and three with five.”

ALFREDO CASTRO writes for ANNCOL.

 

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 28, 2016
Eric Draitser
Stop Trump! Stop Clinton!! Stop the Madness (and Let Me Get Off)!
Ted Rall
The Thrilla at Hofstra: How Trump Won the Debate
Robert Fisk
Cliché and Banality at the Debates: Trump and Clinton on the Middle East
Patrick Cockburn
Cracks in the Kingdom: Saudi Arabia Rocked by Financial Strains
Lowell Flanders
Donald Trump, Islamophobia and Immigrants
Shane Burley
Defining the Alt Right and the New American Fascism
Jan Oberg
Ukraine as the Border of NATO Expansion
Ramzy Baroud
Ban Ki-Moon’s Legacy in Palestine: Failure in Words and Deeds
David Swanson
How We Could End the Permanent War State
Sam Husseini
Debate Night’s Biggest Lie Was Told by Lester Holt
Laura Carlsen
Ayotzinapa’s Message to the World: Organize!
Binoy Kampmark
The Triumph of Momentum: Re-Electing Jeremy Corbyn
David Macaray
When the Saints Go Marching In
Seth Oelbaum
All Black Lives Will Never Matter for Clinton and Trump
Adam Parsons
Standing in Solidarity for a Humanity Without Borders
Cesar Chelala
The Trump Bubble
September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
James McEnteer
Eugene, Oregon and the Rising Cost of Cool
Norman Pollack
The Great Debate: Proto-Fascism vs. the Real Thing
Michael Winship
The Tracks of John Boehner’s Tears
John Steppling
Fear Level Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Where Is That Wasteful Government Spending?
James Russell
Beyond Debate: Interview Styles of the Rich and Famous
September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]