Hillary Clinton Award | 03/31/2017
Jineth Bedoya is a courageous journalist who has played an instrumental role in representing the voices of victims during the Colombian peace process. She began her career working for Colombia National Radio in Bogotá in 1996, where she was assigned to report on a riot at one of the most dangerous prisons in the world, La Modelo, infamous as a focal point for trafficking in drugs and arms between the forces of the state, cartels, and rival militias. In 1999, she was the victim of an attempted assassination, but she continued her investigation, going to work at the Bogota daily newspaper El Espectador. In May 2000, Bedoya returned to the Modelo jail for a story. She was abducted from the prison and tortured as a “message to the press.” After surviving this experience, Bedoya returned to her work as an investigative journalist. In 2001, Bedoya was hired by El Tiempo to lead its law enforcement coverage. In 2003, she traveled to the town of Puerto Alvira, which had been taken and held by the FARC for more than a year, forcing its inhabitants into full-time cocaine production. She was kidnapped and held again, this time by left-wing paramilitaries. After her release, and despite the constant threat, she continued to work tirelessly to investigate armed conflict, drug trafficking, organized crime, and sexual violence. In 2009, she created a public advocacy campaign, “No Es Hora De Callar” (‘Now is not the time to be silent’), seeking to create awareness and condemn violence against women, especially sexual assaults, within the framework of the Colombian conflict.