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Colombia, 4/22/2023


Excmo. Sr. Presidente Gustavo Petro Urrego

President of the Republic of Colombia

Sr. Fiscal Francisco Barbosa Delgado

Attorney General of Colombia 


April 22, 2023

Dear Sirs:

We are writing with deep concern for the safety of feminist social leader Lilia Patricia Cardozo Cipamocha in Tunja, Boyacá Department. She was walking through Santander Park in Tunja on April 10 when at attacker threw acid on her. She was admitted to the San Rafael de Tunja Municipality University Hospital for medical observation because of injuries to the left part of her face and chest.  The acid affected four percent of her body. The attacker is still unknown.

Patricia Cardozo is the director of the Boyacense Feminist Platform (Plataforma Feminista Boyacense), an organization working to end domestic abuse, gender violence, and discrimination, including rescuing victims from the hands of abusers.  She has been under threat since 2022.  On April 5, while she was walking home, an unknown man approached her, tried to attack her with a knife, and threatened to kill her. After being granted protections from the mayor's office due to the severity of these threats, she was told that there was no money to support her protection.  There was a security scheme eventually established for her, but on the day of the attack, there were delays in the activation of the routes in the security protocol.  She received no response from the activation team, and on her way home, she was attacked.

The threat to Patricia Cardozo on April 5 and the subsequent attack on April 10 should be investigated as attempted femicide. In 2022, the Colombian Attorney General’s Office reported 614 femicide cases. The Institute of Studies for Development and Peace (INDEPAZ) registered that over 1,444 human rights activists have been killed in Colombia since the Peace Accords were signed in November 2016.  There needs to be a change to this pattern.

We urge you to:

  • conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the threat made against Lilia Patricia Cardozo Cipamocha on April 5 and the attack on her on April 10, publish the results, and bring the perpetrators to justice
  • call for coordination between the National Protection Unit (UNP) and the municipal government of Tujna to implement a protection scheme for Lilia Patricia Cardozo Cipamocha, in strict accordance with her wishes


Brian J. Stefan Szittai               Christine Stonebraker-Martínez



copies:         Augusto Rodríguez Ballesteros, director de la Unidad Nacional de Protección / National Protection Unit ~ via email

Alfonso Prada Gil, Ministro del Interior ~ via email

Luis Gilberto Murillo, Ambassador of Colombia to the US ~ via email, US mail

Joel Hernández García, Rapporteur for Colombia ,  Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) ~ via email, US mail

UN: Juliette De Rivero, Representative in Colombia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ~ via email

Casa de la Mujer, Tunja, Boyacá ~ via email

US Embassy: Francisco Palmieri (Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim); Sandra Lee (human rights); Mariel Chatman (vulnerable populations) ~ via email

US State Department: Christine Russell, Desk Officer for Colombia ~ via email

US Senators from Ohio: Brown & Vance ~ via email

US Representatives from Ohio:  Balderson, Beatty, Brown, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Miller, Sykes ~ via email


10 APR 2023_Caracol_Colombia