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Colombia: One of the oldest churches in Bogotá burns after a feminist demonstration

A march for International Women's Day in the Colombian capital Bogotá took place last Monday. The women met at the planetarium and wanted to march to Plaza Bolívar, many of them dressed in black with purple scarves, which would identify them as radical feminists. According to the Bogotá Post, their protest was directed at the still widespread violence against women in the country, with numerous femicides every year. At the end of the demonstration, a concert and candle devotion were planned to commemorate the victims of feminicide. But not all of the protesters were equally devout.

In the end, it was mainly a group of around 30 women - according to Mayor Claudia López - who caused vandalism in the city center. Local radio Santa Fe was amazed: "The march on International Women's Day in Bogotá ended this Monday with vandalism, similar to that of men." Hooded and masked women initially attacked shops, buses and bus stops, and later even one of the oldest churches in the Colombian capital. The extent of the violence can be seen in a thread of the city government.

Above: "The protest cannot involve violence!
We call for calm to all women who today march for their rights and in defense of their causes. Let's protect life!"

Mayor López Hernández reacted with clear criticism of the events: “This is neither democracy nor feminism. It is absolutely unacceptable violence. ”The vandalism was caused by“ destructive political elements ”. In a tweet, she wrote that it was "unacceptable that a day devoted to increasing the struggles and achievements of women in history should be taken advantage of by a small group of violent women who believe that protest means destruction."

However, the red-green mayor was silent about the attacked church, which only appeared in the thread of the city government. San Francisco is one of the oldest churches in Bogotá, completed in 1594. Inside there are art treasures by the Spanish baroque painter Francisco de Zurbarán under a carved wooden vaulted roof in Mudejar style. A video shows how the radical demonstrators set fire to the entrance portal of the church, while an explosion can be heard not too far away.

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