Though rates have dropped in recent years, Colombia was once know as the kidnapping capital of the world. The practice — perpetrated mostly guerilla and paramilitary groups, often because they needed the ransom money to buy weapons — was so common that radio stations broadcast call-in shows during which relatives could send messages to their loved ones in captivity.
This is how Consuelo González de Perdomo, a Colombian congresswoman who was kidnapped on Sept. 10, 2001, learned of the death of her husband and the birth of her first grandchild. Here’s her story, as told by Colombian-born animator Juana Medina.
Matt Damon, narrator of Women, War & Peace Episode 1: “I Came To Testify” on why the themes of this series matter to men, too.
When the U.S. troop surge was announced in late 2009, women in Afghanistan knew that the ground was being laid for peace talks with the Taliban. Peace Unveiled follows three women who immediately began to organize to make sure that women’s rights don’t get traded away in the deal. One is a savvy parliamentarian who participated in writing the Afghan constitution that guarantees equality for women; another, a former midwife who is one of the last women’s rights advocates alive in Kandahar; and the third, a young activist who lives in a traditional family in Kabul. Convinced that the Taliban will have demands that jeopardize women’s hard-earned gains, they maneuver against formidable odds to have their voices heard in a peace jirga and high peace council. We go behind Kabul’s closed doors as the women’s case is made to U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer, General David Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who promises the women that “peace and justice can’t come at the cost of women and women’s lives.” But will this promise be kept? Narrated by Tilda Swinton.