EL COLOMBIANO, January 12, 2023

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

The spokesperson for the Embassy of the United States in Bogotá, John Rhatigan, stated that the U.S. Army had no operations in Guaviare in the year in which the case arose.

The United States Embassy was referring to the accusation against a U.S. soldier who allegedly had abused and impregnated an indigenous minor in San José de Guaviare in 2019.

The investigation was revealed by NOTICIAS UNO, a television station that pointed out that the investigation of the case has made no progress.

“Her uncle stated that the young girl was impregnated by a United States soldier stationed in the installations of a Colombian Battalion close to the indigenous settlement,” reported the station.

However, the United States Embassy responded this Wednesday with a communication from its spokesperson to the effect that in 2019, the U.S. had no military presence in Guaviare.

“The United States Army had no presence in the Colombian Department of Guaviare. No United States military personnel were located in Guaviare in 2019,” stated John Rhatigan, an Embassy spokesperson, by means of a press release.

In the release, the diplomatic office reiterated that “the government of the United States takes any such accusation seriously, and we are committed to working with our Colombian counterparts to investigate every accusation of any serious wrong.”

Responding to the case, President Gustavo Petro referred to the situation and emphatically rejected it by means of his Twitter account. “Is there no dignity in the Fatherland? Any respect for Mother Earth? Yes, and a thousand times, Yes. Let nobody tarnish the dignity of its women and its girls,” declared the President.

He concluded, “Beginning in 2019, the Attorney General’s Office commenced an investigation of 118 members of the Colombian Army for rapes that took place in San José de Guaviare. I hope they have progressed enough to take the appropriate measures.”

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