Meet our IBJ Youth Initiative in Colombia!

In 2014, Columbia had the second highest percentage of incarcerated youths in Latin America, a notably high percentage of which are women. In 2020, we supported 2 projects in Colombia to advocate for juvenile justice.

Eulalia Borja Bedoya, Colombia

Eulalia Borja Bedoya

"Helping young people who are detained and assaulted during protest," 2020

Mateo Acosta Cardona

"Using Facebook to weaken the barriers to access to justice for detained youth," 2020

Eulalia Borja Bedoya​

Colombia, 2020

Eulalia is a sociology student whose project proposes to work in Medellin city, Colombia to address the masses of young people who are being detained and often assaulted by the police during protests. They are detained often for up to three days without access to a lawyer and then they are released by judges without being offered justification for their arrest. Eulalia’s project will create an app that allows people participating in marches to rapidly notify people if they are being arrested, sharing the location of the arrest and where they are being taken. This will enable the lawyer to access them and to provide them with counsel and representation and will avoid arbitrary detentions. Alongside this she will conduct youth campaigns in schools and on social media to make them aware of their existing youth rights.

Mateo Acosta Cardona ​

Colombia, 2020

Mateo is a law student in Medellin who is a member of a research group that conducts studies into penitentiary law and monitors the development of these issues across the country. Mateo’s project proposes to use Facebook groups to weaken the barriers surrounding access to justice for detained youth. Mateo describes the existence of some effective Facebook groups of lawyers who give and receive help for their judicial projects and argues that given the ease of creating a social media group he could gain the interest of jurists, lawyers, judges and officials all with an interest in supporting incarcerated juveniles.