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Tradgedy in Aracataca

Report by Harald Fertig, 17/05/06

Benicelda has a very sad story. In August 2005 her eldest daughter, 14yo Yulieth Henriquez, was brutally tortured, raped and murder by 34yo Felix Antonio Navarro. Felix was arrested and imprisoned, although his connections in the town made life very difficult for Benicelda, her husband and their remaining five children. The Henriquez family were taunted and abused by the family and associates of the offender, using various intimidation tactics in order to force the family to withdraw from legal proceedings. The witnesses to the crime were also bullied into not testifying.

In January 2006 members of Cartagenitos were altered to the situation and visited The Henriquez Family in Aracataca. They helped to contract a lawyer for the family which gave them more security and confidence that justice would be served. Unfortunately this lasted for only 4 months. In late April, two months before the trial, Benicelda received a visit from two of Felix's associates demanding that she withdraw from proceedings. Shortly after this Oscar, Yulieth's father, lost his job of 9 years (which has been attributed to the influence of the offenders associates) and the family was forced out of their home town.

Over the remaining weeks Cartagenitos had regular contact with the family and their lawyer to ensure that the trial would be a success. The trial proceeded in July with members of Cartagenitos present for the support of the Henrequez family. Felix Antonio Navarro was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment.