Feminist Movements in Latin America have recently made incredible strides in women’s rights after generations of struggle against a society founded in machismo. When supporting and celebrating progress in Women’s Liberation in Latin America, mainstream media often tends to focus on countries such as Argentina, Chile, and Mexico and the rise of the #NiUnaMenos, (not one more) anti-femicide movement. Although the feminist movements in these countries have been successful in achieving some essential rights for women, with the exception of Mexico, these predominantly white countries are also intentionally centering cis straight white women in the feminist movement, rarely if ever speaking on issues that specifically target Black women while also marginalizing Queer, Gender Non-Conforming, Black and Indigenous Women.
Francia Márquez Mina, a 40-year-old Black female activist from the predominantly Black and forgotten region of the Colombian Pacific coast, is shifting the terms of political debate in the second 'Blackest' nation in South America. Francia, the first Black woman to run for the Colombian presidency, is leading a collective effort by women, LGBTQ+ communities, Black youth, peasants, and the poor in general to transform Colombia's insidious patterns of violence and socio-racial inequalities. According to Infobae , as many as 54.2% of Colombia’s population face food insecurity, 42% are under the poverty line, and 10.8% of children are under chronic malnutrition. The country has one of the largest internally-displaced populations and the longest armed conflict in the hemisphere.
(Toronto, Ottawa, Buenaventura) Protests are being organized across Canada and in 58 cities around the world on July 26 to demand an end to the wave of mass killings targeting human rights defenders and social movement leaders in Colombia. Organizers of the Toronto “July 26, walk for Life and Peace in Colombia” say there’s an invisible genocide taking place in Colombia. Violence against civil society has intensified at an alarming rate without effective action on the part of government to end the bloodshed. More than 500 social activists and 138 demobilized guerilla combatants have been killed since the signing of the Peace Accord between the state and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) in 2016.
On April 20, Colombian human rights organizations in the south-west of the country denounced the mass arrests of leaders and human rights defenders in the departments of Nariño, Cauca and Valle del Cauca. The organizations pointed out that people who were detained had attended sessions of the National Liberation Army (ELN) peace talks held in Quito, Ecuador, and they would probably be charged with rebellion and be accused of having links to the guerrilla group. Human rights organizations have not been able to identify all of the 30 people who were detained in the operations due to the irregular circumstances under which the legal proceedings took place. Many of those detained belong to the Afro-Colombian organization Proceso de Comunidades Negras (Black Communities’ Process - PCN)...
Human-rights and social-justice organizations in Colombia as well as the international community demand all charges be dropped and the state immediately release Afro-Colombian activists imprisoned on frivolous "terrorism" charges. The ability to move swiftly to defend these two activists, Sara Quiñonez and Tulia Maris Valencia, will impact the Pan-African struggle worldwide.
By Staff of Black Alliance for Peace - The undersigned gender, racial, social and environmental justice organizations and advocates from around the world applaud the inclusion of the Ethnic Chapter and other racial and gender rights measures in Colombia’s Final Agreement to End the Armed Conflict and Build a Stable and Lasting Peace. If implemented, these provisions will allow Colombia to set a global example of holistic peacebuilding—one that meaningfully addresses the social inequalities that help fuel conflict. We are, however, deeply concerned about the inadequate consultation with and recognition of Afro-Colombian and Indigenous authorities in peace implementation activities to date, and the ways in which this endangers the lives, security, and territorial and human rights of Afro-Descendant and Indigenous Peoples, including women and girls. We encourage the Government to act in good faith to ensure that Indigenous and Afro-Descendant Peoples’ rights are maintained and furthered in peace implementation. It is crucial that the framework plan for implementing the Peace Accord contain indicators to measure the progress and outcomes of policies, programs and reforms in a manner that corresponds to the needs, values, and rights of Indigenous and Afro-Descendant Peoples, including their gender-based rights. These can only be developed with meaningful participation of their respective authorities and organizations.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Popular Resistance has been closely following and reporting on the civic strike in the port city of Buenaventura, Colombia. As the strike is suspended we are issuing this statement of support and solidarity. We applaud the political clarity and the uncompromising demands of the people of Buenaventura in response to the long-term prejudice and mistreatment of Afro-Colombians. The organization that the civic strike showed, especially in the face of harsh treatment by the security state in Colombia, demonstrated great strength and courage which made the strike successful. Your effort has brought massive attention to the indifference of the Colombian government to centuries of racism that has led to abject poverty and mistreatment of black people in Colombia. The agreement that led to the suspension of the strike is a clear victory for Afro-Colombians in Buenaventura.