Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

March-11-99

Columbia Guerrillas Admit Murder of Three Activists

The blind-folded and bullet-ridden bodies of activists Ingrid Washinawatok, 41, Lahe'ena'e Gay, 39, and Terence Freitas, 24, were returned to the United States yesterday from the Venezuelan field where they were found last week.

The three Americans were abducted in Columbia and later killed by members of Columbia's largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia. The murder victims had been trying to set up an educational system for the U'wa nation, a local Indian group, and were arrested by armed guards for going to the U'wa reservation "without guerilla authorization." Washinawatok and Gay were both North American Indians and activists, and Freitas was an environmentalist and human rights advocate.

Many believe that the murders were spurred by a spider bite that Washinawatok suffered. The guerillas took her to a clinic, but when they were told that Washinawatok would have to stay at the clinic, refused and left with her. A Colombian military intelligence report stated that the guerillas decided to shoot all three hostages because they feared punishment for allowing a U.S. hostage to die from lack of medical attention.

Raul Reyes, a senior leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, stated that a low-ranking official was responsible for the murders and had acted without the approval of superiors. U.S. officials had originally requested that the guilty parties be extradited to stand trial back in the U.S. Reyes said, however, that "[w]e will not turn over our fighters to any state" and said that the man who ordered the murders will likely face a firing squad.

All three murder victims were dedicated activists who went against State Department warnings in order to set up the school system. "Ingrid Washinawatok was an integral part of the lives of many native Americans and other traditional peoples, nationally and internationally. Her place in our community will not soon be filled, if ever," said the American Indian Community in a statement.

Media Resources: Washington Post/a> and AP - March 10 and 11, 1999


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska. The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services. The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge. Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska. "By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read. "We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
 
8/27/2015 Los Angeles Mayor Announces Model Gender Equity Directive - On Women's Equality Day Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, signed a progressive and inclusive executive directive to take a major step toward gender equity for the city and to be a model for other cities. . . .
 
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections. This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .