A woman identified as 46-year-old María Cristina Calle was shot and killed in front of her two young children in a horrific murder caught on video. The murder, which took place at an MIO station for public transport in Cali, Colombia, on Saturday, November 21, was captured on surveillance cameras.
The video, which will not be posted in this article but was shared by The Sun, shows the gunman in a white shirt and red hat running toward the woman as she waits in the Santa Monica MIO station with her two kids. The gunman shoots the woman as she backs away with her hands up, the video shows.
The mother of two was shot in the head and the chest and died almost instantly, police reported, according to Canal 44. It is not immediately clear who will take custody of her two children.
The Gunman, Believed to Be the Victim’s Ex-Boyfriend, Is at Large After Fleeing the Scene
En este lugar en donde fue asesinada María Cristina Bonilla , mujer de 46 años , madre y abuela hemos señalado la importancia de la vida y la responsabilidad de que este crimen no quede en impunidad
Ofrecemos una recompensa de hasta 20 millones para quien nos ofrezca información pic.twitter.com/XHENTqG0YS
— Jorge Ivan Ospina (@JorgeIvanOspina) November 22, 2020
The gunman fled the scene after shooting Calle, the CCTV surveillance footage of the fatal attack shows. In the video, one of the woman’s two kids can be seen starting to run in that same direction after the shooter while her other child appears to be immobile in shock.
Jorge Ivan Ospina, the mayor of Cali, took to Twitter to denounce the “cowardly” act and indicated that the gunman was believed to be the woman’s ex-boyfriend. He said the Cali police and prosecutor’s office are investigating the murder and so far they believe that the perpetrator was Calle’s ex-partner based on all the available information. Ospina labeled the crime a femicide and added, “Why don’t early warning systems work for domestic abuse, harassment and sexual violence?”
The gunman, whose name has not been released at this time, remains at large. Ospina added that a reward of about $5,500 is being offered for information that would lead to the capture of the suspected gunman.
Femicides in Cali and Colombia Overall Have Increased This Year Following COVID-19 Lockdowns
No es la hora de callar el maltrato , la agresión , la muerte a la que han sido sometidas nuestras mujeres.
Por eso a esta hora desde la plazoleta de San Francisco leemos sus nombres pic.twitter.com/PKQIv0yMSM
— Jorge Ivan Ospina (@JorgeIvanOspina) November 23, 2020
Ospina spoke about how domestic violence and deaths related to domestic violence have been happening all too frequently. He said there have been at least 70 women murdered so far this year in Cali alone and 20 of those were considered femicides, defined as the murder of a woman by her current partner or an ex, The Sun reported.
There has been a major increase in femicides in Colombia this year, with 86 murders of women and girls in September 2020 alone, Al Jazeera reported. That’s the highest monthly total since 2017 when those stats were first tracked and represents an average of three women killed every day.
Nancy Faride, a gender equality official, said, “The city is mourning because another woman has been the victim of a public murder. Now, homes and public places are no longer safe for women. We feel very insecure,” The Sun reported.
A tribute to victims of domestic violence took place at the Plaza San Francisco in Cali and the hashtag #NoEsHoraDeCallar was used to indicate that now is not the time to be silent. Ospina tweeted, “This is not the time to be silent about the mistreatment, aggression and deaths to which women have been subjected. That’s why at this time in Plaza San Francisco we will read their names.”