Eight women accuse Colombian director Ciro Guerra of sexual harassment, assault: report


Bogota (AFP)

Eight women accused Colombian director Ciro Guerra -- known for his film "Embrace of the Serpent" -- of sexual harassment and assault in an article published Wednesday.

Seven women said the 39-year-old filmmaker sexually harassed them, while an eighth said she had been sexually assaulted by Guerra, all between 2013 and 2019 in various cities in Colombia, France, Germany, the US and Mexico, according to the Volcanicas magazine.

The accusers chose not to reveal their identities "to avoid backlash."

According to their accounts, Guerra engaged the women in "uncomfortable sexual conversations" and invited them back to his apartment or hotel.

He "forcefully touched them sexually, kissed them and, in one case, committed sexual abuse, even as they clearly, directly and repeatedly told him 'no'", the magazine said.

Guerra denied the accusations and said he would seek to clear his name through the legal system.

"I offer my apologies to everyone who has been affected, to everyone who has had to read these horrors, lies and malicious words," he said in a statement.

"I have the peace of being innocent," he added in a video.

The women said some of the abuses took place during the Cannes Film Festival and at the Cartagena International Film Festival in Colombia.

The accusers, who also did not reveal their nationalities, said they worked in film as actresses, costume designers or other crew members.

Volcanicas magazine said the women do not intend to file any kind of formal complaint against Guerra in an effort to avoid potential humiliation during the legal process.

Guerra is one of the most internationally famous Colombian directors, whose 2015 film "Embrace of the Serpent" won accolades at Cannes the same year. It was nominated for best foreign language film in 2016.