Protests erupted last week in the poor neighborhood of Bogotá, Colombia over the brutal rape and murder of a seven-year-old indigenous girl in a country where as many as 40 children are sexually abused every day, the Guardian reports.
Police charged Rafael Uribe Noguera—a wealthy architect from Bogotá—with aggravated femicide, torture, abduction and “violent sexual intercourse” after police found the body of Yuliana Andrea Samboní at a nearby penthouse owned by Uribe’s family on Dec. 4. Samboní was from a poor indigenous family fleeing Colombia’s civil war.
“The people from Chapinero Alto were always worrying about their safety because of that poor barrio,” Enrique Caceres, a taxi driver, told the Guardian. “All the time it was the people from the barrio that should have been worrying about those below.”
Rafael’s brother Francisco Uribe and sister Catalina spent several hours with Rafael before calling the police, even driving their brother to the hospital for cocaine overdose treatment prior to notifying authorities. Police suspect at least one other person tried to help Rafael cover up the crime scene, but no other suspects have been charged. In comments to local reporters, Francisco Uribe said he was “deeply sorry” for his brother’s actions, adding his family “deeply laments the death of Yuliana.”
Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos called for a swift investigation into Samson’s death. “I demand, as Colombians demand, the most prompt and severe justice that falls on the person responsible for this murder,” he said.