The Colombian Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation against Esperanza Castro, who made racist comments and called Colombian Vice President Francia Márquez an “ape.”
El racismo lastima a quienes lo padecemos. Pero, sobre todo, pone en evidencia la necesidad de trabajar por la igualdad en Colombia… Es la manifestación contemporánea y masiva de una ignorancia profundamente anclada en los tiempos de la esclavización.#DondeHayRacismoNoHayPaz
— Francia Márquez Mina (@FranciaMarquezM) September 27, 2022
Castro is heard in an audiovisual recording describing Francia Márquez as an ape and asserting that “blacks steal, rob, and kill.”
According to the investigators involved in the case, the woman will be called to testify before the Prosecutor’s Office to give her explanation about the incident.
After what happened, the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, spoke out and wrote on his Twitter account that “this racist hatred is irrational.”
“It distances itself from all rational human knowledge. But with it, they do politics. With it, they condemned all of humanity to a disaster in 1933,” Petro said.
Esperanza Castro was interviewed on video by @diaspora_social. They indicated that conducting the interview put them at physical risk and that the video itself has been censored on more than one platform.
Aquí te dejamos nuestro video completo. Hacer esta entrevista nos costó arriesgarnos el pellejo. El vídeo ha Sido censurado en plataformas como TikTok e Instagram dónde no lo eliminaron. Te agradecemos nos regales los créditos y nos ayudes a difundirlo. Mil gracias pic.twitter.com/aJV7mobZXu
— DIASPORA (@diaspora_social) September 27, 2022
What charges could she face?
According to specialists consulted by the Colombian media El Tiempo, presumably the woman who made the racist comments against the Colombian vice president could not be charged with the crime of discrimination.
The criminologist Francisco Bernate Ochoa explained that she could not be charged with the crime of discrimination, since “in Colombia discrimination is not only making these types of comments, but is related to preventing the exercise of a right based on discriminatory relationships.” However, this would not mean that Castro’s comments are protected by the right to freedom of expression.
The lawyer Germán Camilo explained that Castro could be charged with the crime of harassment with the addition of an aggravated circumstance for doing so in a public space. According to Article 134B of the Colombian Penal Code, harassment applies to “anyone who promotes or instigates acts, conduct or conduct constituting harassment, aimed at causing physical or moral harm to a person; group of people, community or people, by reason of their race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, political or philosophical ideology, sex or sexual orientation, or disability…”
Although harassment carries a prison sentence of 12 to 36 months and a fine of 10 to 15 current legal monthly minimum wages, a prison sentence would not be served, since this is a releasable crime, which means that it has a sentence of less than 48 months and a conditional suspension of the sentence is permitted.
(RedRadioVe) with OT content.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
- eforinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/eferrari10/October 21, 2022
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