BOGOTA, Colombia – The fatal rape of a woman in a popular park in Bogota has sparked a public outcry and led to calls for tougher action to prevent violence against women in Colombia.
Police said Tuesday that the man arrested in the May 24 attack on Rosa Elvira Cely, 35, had been jailed in another woman's murder a decade ago but had been released. He is also a suspect in three other rapes.
About 1,000 people held a protest march Sunday in National Park, where the rape took place, to condemn violence against women as a major problem in the country. Some protesters carried flowers while others carried signs calling for an end to violence against women or saying "Not One More."
Officials said Cely suffered stab wounds in various parts of her body and blows to her face and head, as well as injuries to her genitals and internal organs. Police said they believe something wooden was rammed inside her vagina during the attack.
Cely was taken to a hospital but died of her injuries four days later.
Police arrested 44-year-old Javier Velasco Valenzuela on Friday and they found bloody clothing at his home, said Gen. Jose Roberto Riano, the country's deputy police director. Riano said DNA tests were being carried out on the blood.
Velasco has been charged with aggravated homicide, torture and rape.
The crime against Cely drew an indignant response from President Juan Manuel Santos, who said he hoped "a person who is capable of committing such a crime rots" in jail.