Target: Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia
Goal: Protect a family and secure justice for their daughter who was raped and killed by paramilitaries
Nearly fourteen years ago, Blanca Nubia Díaz lived out a mother’s worst nightmare. Her daughter Irina del Carmen Villero Díaz, just 15 years old, was raped, tortured, and killed by paramilitaries. Since then, Blanca Dìaz has sought justice for her daughter, only to be threatened, harassed, and subjected to violence by paramilitaries.
Blanca Dìaz is a member of the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado, MOVICE). For over a decade, she has fought to bring those who murdered her daughter to justice despite violent threats aimed to silence her. Over the years she has been forcibly displaced from her home in Guajira Department and her family has received threatening phone calls. In 2014, her other daughter was raped. The investigation into this crime remains at a standstill, just like the investigation into Irina’s rape and murder over a decade ago.
The most recent threat to Dìaz and her family came when two men forced their way into a house Dìaz owns, demanding to see Dìaz’s daughter. Neither Dìaz nor her daughter currently live at the house, but the men threatened the family living there and told them to leave the property. The intrusion came just days after the front door to the house was kicked in.
Such heavy-handed violence and intimidation tactics are impossible to ignore, and yet that is exactly what Colombia’s justice system is doing. Sign the petition and demand that recent threats against her family be investigated and that the investigation into Irina del Carmen Villero Dìaz’s murder be advanced.
Dear President Santos,
I am writing to express my urgent and deep concern for the well-being of Blanca Nubia Dìaz and her family. I urge you to protect them in accordance with their wishes and to investigate any acts of violence committed against them.
Blanca Dìaz has dedicated the past fourteen years of her life to seeking justice for her murdered daughter, Irina del Carmen Villero Dìaz, who was raped, tortured, and killed by paramilitaries in 2001, when she was only 15 years old. Despite Dìaz’s advocacy work and the fact that over a decade has passed since the murder, very little progress has been made in the investigation.
In the meantime, the Dìaz family has been harassed and threatened. Dìaz’s other daughter has been raped. Most recently, men seeking Dìaz’s daughter forced their way into a house owned by Dìaz. Upon finding out that neither Dìaz nor her daughter were currently living there, the men ordered the current tenants to leave.
The violence and intimidation of the Dìaz family and of those associated with it has already gone on for far too long. I implore you to investigate the crimes this family has suffered, bring those responsible to justice, and to protect the family members in accordance with their wishes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Emmanuel Huybrechts via Wikimedia Commons