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AfroColombia

News and resources concerning people in Colombia with an African heritage.

AfroColombians are especially concentrated in coastal areas and on the Pacific side of the country, where Cuban ethnologist Rogelio Martinez Furé visited  in 1997.  He made presentations at numerous cities, especially on the coast, where he reported that there is a strong Congo presence which has preserved much of the culture.

General Resources & News Sources

Music


Media
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Afro-Colombians and the Free Trade Agreement

AfroColombia Newstop

Relatos de violencia de un país amnésico 7/25/2013 El Espectador: "Santos señaló que la responsabilidad de construir memoria a partir de la verdad es una obligación."

Construir sobre la sangre derramada 7/24/2013 El Espectador: "Ayer al mediodía, el grupo de Memoria Histórica entregó al presidente Juan Manuel Santos, en ceremonia oficial, el informe ¡Basta ya! Colombia: memorias de guerra y de dignidad, un compilado de 431 páginas que contiene en cifras y en imágenes el terror por el que han pasado las víctimas del conflicto colombiano. Las víctimas de su propio país."

Informe del Grupo de Memoria Histórica 220.000 colombianos han muerto en 55 años de violencia 7/24/2013 El Espectador: "Es como si hoy una bomba borrara Popayán: 220.000 colombianos han perdido la vida entre 1958 y 2013 por cuenta del conflicto. Más aberrante resulta saber que 176.000 de ellos eran civiles. O que 27.023 secuestros estuvieron íntimamente ligados a la barbarie de esta guerra prolongada. O que hay 10.189 colombianos amputados o muertos por minas antipersonas. O que el número de desplazados por los fusiles y las balas en estos 55 años representa la población de países como Irlanda, Costa Rica o Congo: 4,7 millones. Una radiografía de salvajismo dosificado —qué paradoja— en tiempos de democracia."

Un marco jurídico para la paz con justicia 7/24/2013 El Espectador: "La demanda promovida por La Comisión Colombiana de Juristas contra la reforma constitucional conocida como el “Marco Jurídico para la Paz”, que se debatirá hoy jueves en audiencia ante la Corte Constitucional, se orienta a respaldar el proceso de paz."

Colombian President Recognizes Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Program - Afro-Colombian Day Event Highlights USAID Support for Afro-Colombian and Indigenous 6/5/2013 ACDI Voca: "USAID and ACDI/VOCA have worked with ethnic minorities in Colombia for over a decade. The current Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Program (ACIP) is the first stand-alone program developed for the sole purpose of improving the socioeconomic and political inclusion of Afro-Colombians and indigenous people. The project works to strengthen state institutions’ ability to support minorities, enhance advocacy capacities of ethnic organizations, increase minority populations’ access to economic opportunities and publicize positive messages around ethnic minority issues. ACIP is a cooperative agreement awarded to ACDI/VOCA by USAID/Colombia."

Afrocolombianos conmemoran hoy su día nacional con foro de paz 5/21/2013 Sierra Maestra: "Los afrocolombianos conmemorarán aquí hoy el Día Nacional de esa población con un foro sobre su papel en la construcción de la paz, en el que participarán el presidente Juan Manuel Santos y el vicepresidente Angelino Garzón. La cita, con sede en la Biblioteca Nacional, unirá a diversas voces de afrodescendientes para hablar sobre el actual proceso entre el Gobierno y las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo, que sesiona en Cuba desde noviembre de 2012."

Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network Statement of Concern: Recent Increase in Violence Against Afro-Colombian Communities on the Pacific Coast 2/25/2013 TransAfrica: "In anticipation of the upcoming visit of Minister Fernando Carrillo to Washington, DC, the Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN) would like to express serious concerns with the current situation facing specific Afro-Colombian communities and leaders. We are especially concerned with recent increase in violence against Afro-Colombian communities on the Pacific coast."

Grupo Niche nuevamente de gira por Estados Unidos 2/15/2013 Sonfonia: "El Grupo Niche de Colombia, inicia formalmente su nueva gira en los Estados Unidos de América, país al cual asiste de forma ininterrumpida desde 1982, cuando su creador Jairo Varela trascendió fronteras."

José E. Mosquera Rentería: Colombia, Las nuevas formas de discriminación contra los afrocolombianos 10/21/2012 Legado Afro: "Algunas personas se han extrañado por la afirmación del presidente Juan Manuel Santos de que en su gabinete no ha incluido ningún afro porque a estos puestos se llega es por méritos."

President Obama’s Green Light to FTA is a Red Flag for Afro-Colombians 4/13/2012 Afro-Colombian News: "As President Obama seems to be ready to give a green light to Colombia for the implementation of the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement this weekend, under the guise of improvements in labor conditions and human rights, the Black Communities Process in Colombia (PCN) raises the question: what it will take for the Obama administration to understand the severity of Afro-Colombians’ human rights?"

CALABAR, NIGERIA DESCENDANTS- CARABALI surname in Colombia/Ecuador, 3/19/2012 Biodiversity Forum: "ON the Southern Pacific coast of 'Colombia' and Northern Pacific coast of Ecuador there's a surname of African origin, it is CARABALI. It is said to be a corruption/or re-saying of the city CALABAR in Nigeria. It is said that these Africans were brought from the port of Calabar and thus given the surname CARABALI. Even till this day when we see the surname CARABALI, a very SSA person is expected behind that surname. I will post pictures of different Carabalis."

Afro-Colombian Women and Public Policy 3/8/2012 Afro-Colombian News: "Nosotras, mujeres afros, negras, raizal y palenqueras, heredera de la herencia ancestral de ORIKA, DE WINNI… hacedoras de vida, como seres sensibles y partícipes de la sociedad, tenemos una gran responsabilidad en el presente y futuro de las sociedades, en la medida en que el reconocimiento de nuestro ser, nuestra identidad, nuestra cosmovisión diversa, nuestro papel en la sociedad generará una dinámica en la cual seamos reconocidas, respetadas y valoradas en todos los niveles."

Victims Law Decree Fails Afro-Colombian Communities 2/3/2012 NACLA: "President Juan Manuel Santos may have spoiled an historic opportunity to bring some justice in the form of reparations and land restitution to the Afro-descendant victims of Colombia’s internal armed conflict. On December 9, Santos decreed Law 4635, ostensibly creating the means for the Colombian government to compensate and assist Afro-Colombian victims that have been kicked off their land or have suffered during Colombia’s internal conflict. Such a law is essential, as Afro-Colombians have been disproportionably victimized and dispossessed by the violence. Their communities have repeatedly endured forced internal displacement, dozens of massacres, targeted assassination of their leaders, rape of their women and children, and the stigmatization that comes with all these atrocities. However, the Colombian government failed to implement a legitimate process of participation and free, prior, and informed consultation with these groups over the law—a right granted to Afro-descendents both in the Colombian Constitution and in international treaties. Without such consultation with the victims, Law 4635 is just another piece of legislation that has made a mockery of the rights of Afro-descendants."

“Mona, mona, mona!” Whiteness, tropicality, and international accompaniment in Colombia 1/15/2012 University of British Columbia: "I started thinking about whiteness in Colombia to make sense of how international accompaniment works. Accompaniment is a grassroots security tactic being increasingly used around the world. In a conflict zone some people, particularly certain outsiders, are less likely to be attacked than others. When more privileged bodies walk alongside those under threat they can serve as “unarmed bodyguards”."

Asesinan a alcalde electo en el departamento de Nariño a un día de investidura 1/1/2012 Rebelion: "Padre de cinco hijos, Chatazar fue elegido por el Movimiento de Autoridades Indígenas de Colombia (AIC). El gobernador indígena de Santa Cruz, Servio Bernal, exigió a las autoridades esclarecer el crimen, tras llamar a la comunidad a mantener la calma."

Paramilitares causan desplazamiento de 81 familias afrodescendientes por no colaborar 12/26/2011 Rebelion: "Rebelión ha transcrito la entrevista que Contagio Radio realizó al lider comunitario Orlando Pantoja, coordinador de Cococauca. En Colombia no cesa el desplazamiento ni la guerra. Las comunidades de Timbiquí, Cauca, han tenido que desplazarse. Desde el 14 de diciembre se encuentran en el casco urbano de Guapí."

Despojos de tierras: siguen matando a mujeres líderes.-Asesinada líder de los desplazados en Mocoa 12/23/2011 Partido Comminista de Colombia: "Estando en su casa de habitación ubicada en la vereda, las planadas del municipio de Mocoa, fue vilmente asesinada la señora, ALEXA GOMEZ POLANIA, de aproximadamente 35 años madre cabeza de hogar y miembro de la Asociación de desplazados “el Progreso” de la mencionada vereda."

With FTA Secured, Colombia Takes Steps Backwards on Human Rights 12/21/2011 Anarkismo: "On October 12, the same day that the U.S. Congress passed the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), a group of over sixty Afro-Colombian victims protested in Bogotá. The marchers, internally displaced leaders from the conflict areas of Chocó, Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Nariño and Bolivar, had a clear message, “We are marching for our right to life. The government does not protect us. We are killed, threatened and displaced so that Colombia and outside investors can make a profit off of the natural resources found in our lands. We say no to the U.S.-Colombia FTA.” While it was not uncommon to hear such statements under President Uribe’s reign, it was sobering to hear it under the Santos Administration."

Investigación Exhaustiva a los Procesos de Consulta Previa del Gobierno Pide El Proceso de Comunidad 12/9/2011 Renacientes PCN: "El Proceso de Comunidades Negras en Colombia (PCN) pidió al Procurador General de la Nación que investigue todos los llamados procesos de consulta previa conducidos por el gobierno para la aprobación de la Ley de Victimas y el Decreto Ley par alas victimas Afro-descendientes, así como el del Plan Nacional de Desarrollo 2010-2014. La demanda de la organización llega después que un sinnúmero de Consejos Comunitarios y organizaciones congregadas en La Mesa Afrocolombiana, criticaran severamente estos procesos por ser excluyentes, discriminatorios y llenos de irregularidades. El PCN insiste en su comunicación, también dirigida a la Oficina de Asuntos Afrodecendientes y de Minorías, que lo que el gobierno ha presentado como consulta previa, viola el derecho de los Afrodescendientes a la consulta y consentimiento previo, libre e informado y los principios y protocolos de participación regulados por la Convenio 169 de la OIT y las sentencias de la Corte Constitucional C-891/2002 y C-080/2008."

USAID and Colombia Launch Historic Program to Support Afro-descendant and Indigenous Communities 12/7/2011 USAID: "The program seeks to guarantee human rights, improve governance, provide job skills training and increase awareness and respect of cultural diversity. USAID is investing $61 million dollars into the program that will be implemented in coordination with the Colombian government at the national, departmental and local levels. Traditional authorities of indigenous groups and Afro-descendant organizations will also participate in leadership roles."

Afro-Colombian Victims Ignored in Development of Victims’ Law 11/22/2011 Afro-Colombian News: "Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed Law 1448, better known as the Victims and Land Restitution Law, on June 10, 2011. The law offers a historic opportunity to provide reparations to more than four million victims of the internal armed conflict in Colombia, and the United States has expressed its support by pledging considerable financial and technical support for its implementation. However, if the law fails to include the perspectives of the victims themselves, Law 1448 will deepen the structural disadvantages and obstacles confronting the very people that it intends to help."

Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network Calls for Inclusion of Afro-Colombian Issues in Victims' Law 11/22/2011 TransAfrica

ACSN Urges the Santos Administration to investigate paramilitary activity and protect the Afro-Colombian communities in Cacarica Chocó 11/20/2011 CRLN: "The Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN)* is concerned for the safety of Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities in the Cacarica river basin. The Community for Self-Determination, Life and Dignity of Cacarica (CAVIDA) warns that paramilitaries are mobilizing in nearby towns including Carmen del Darién, Turbo, Apartadó and Chigorodó in order to secure territorial, economic and social control over the civilian population. The presence of illegal armed groups, including the guerrillas and paramilitary groups that did not disarm or give up territorial control of the strategic Darien/Lower Atrato area put the lives of communities at risk. Information provided to CAVIDA indicates that the villages of Vijao and El Limón, and the Humanitarian Zone of Nueva Vida may be targeted."

José Prudencio Padilla: El gigante sacrificado 11/20/2011 El Universal, Colombia: "Hemos escuchado hipnotizados por tanta maravilla informativa y reveladora a la historiadora Aline Helg, de la Universidad de Ginebra (sin duda la que más conoce de manera abrumadora sobre la vida de Padilla), las hazañas y las pequeñeces humanas que perturbaron a este gigante y lo llevaron de manera atroz al sacrificio. Cartagena que puso el mayor número de muertos en la Independencia (los mártires fueron cerca o más de 6 mil cartageneros), no se pronunció sobre la ejecución de Padilla… ¿Por qué los cartageneros no levantaron su voz para defender a Padilla? ¿Por qué el Caribe colombiano se quedó enmudecido ante semejante injusticia que se estaba cometiendo con él? Allí está la gran pregunta que se formula y responde la historiadora Aline Helg, quien afirma que desde los inicios de la guerra contra España, Bolívar estaba obsesionado y prevenido de la repercusión que tendría el poder de los pardos y su impacto en las sociedades de Venezuela y en la Costa, hasta el punto de una repetición de Haití."

Entrevista con Aline Helg: "Hay una nueva conciencia de lo afro entre la gente del Caribe y del Pacífico" 9/25/2011 Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango: "La historiadora suiza Aline Helg está de visita en el país. Antes de emprender un viaje por el Caribe Colombiano con la Expedición Padilla, la autora pasó por la Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango para el lanzamiento de su libro "Libertad e igualdad en el Caribe colombiano 1770-1835", editado en español por el Banco de la República y la Universidad Eafit. En su libro, Helg examina cómo durante los primeros años de la República, cuando se configuró la identidad nacional, se ‘invisibilizó’ a las comunidades afrocaribeñas."

Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network Calls for Protection of Afro-Colombian Communities in Cacarica, Choco 9/23/2011 TransAfrica: "The Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN)* is concerned for the safety of Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities in the Cacarica river basin. The Community for Self-Determination, Life and Dignity of Cacarica (CAVIDA) warns that paramilitaries are mobilizing in nearby towns including Carmen del Darién, Turbo, Apartadó and Chigorodó in order to secure territorial, economic and social control over the civilian population."

Colombian Music Festival Keeps Afro-Colombian Culture Alive 9/8/2011 Upside Down World: "Afro-Colombian communities are some of the most susceptible to displacement. Their traditional homelands are often located in remote mountainous regions, which act as ideal hiding places for armed groups fighting over natural resources and drug-trafficking routes. The massive displacement numbers have worried Afro-Colombian leaders who fear they are losing their traditional culture. Together with her band, 'Bongo De Bojaya', Noency traveled to the fifteenth Petronio Alverez music festival in Cali, Southern Colombia. The festival brings together Afro-Colombian communities from across the country, who come to dance, sing and celebrate their unique culture."

The Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN) strongly denounces the following security incidents that have taken place in Afro-Colombian communities since July 8/10/2011 TransAfrica

New Abuses of Afro-Colombians’ Legal Rights under Santos Administration 7/20/2011 ACSN: "Violence and intimidation tactics continue to undermine the legal framework that defends the rights of Afro-Colombians. Despite possessing collective land rights to more than 5.2 million hectares of land, Afro- Colombians are disproportionately affected by forced displacement. Democratically elected Afro- Colombian Community Councils were created with the purpose of governing the collective territories and playing an important role in defending the right to previous, free, and informed consultation and consent. However, paramilitary groups that collude with large-scale economic projects violently expel Afro- Colombian communities from their collective lands. ACSN has repeatedly denounced various expressions of violence against Afro-Colombian communities and leaders."

New Abuses of Afro-Colombians’ Legal Rights under Santos Administration 7/20/2011 WOLA: "Violence and intimidation tactics continue to undermine the legal framework that defends the rights of Afro-Colombians. Despite possessing collective land rights to more than 5.2 million hectares of land, Afro-Colombians are disproportionately affected by forced displacement. Democratically elected Afro-Colombian Community Councils were created with the purpose of governing the collective territories and playing an important role in defending the right to previous, free, and informed consultation and consent. However, paramilitary groups that collude with large-scale economic projects violently expel Afro-Colombian communities from their collective lands. ACSN has repeatedly denounced various expressions of violence against Afro-Colombian communities and leaders. Despite domestic and international awareness of the systematic destruction of Afro-Colombian communities’ rights, the threats and violence continue."

Nuevas Amenazas para Líderes del PCN y al Representante Legal del Consejo Comunitario de La Toma. 7/18/2011 Renacientes PCN: "El Equipo de Derechos Humanos del Proceso de Comunidades Negras en Colombia PCN y las demás organizaciones sociales y de derechos humanos firmantes denuncian ante la comunidad nacional e internacional los siguientes hechos que ponen en grave riesgo la vida e integridad física de los miembros del PCN y los derechos las comunidades."

Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network Condemns Ongoing Human Rights Abuses in Colombia 5/26/2011 WOLA: "On May 22, clashes between FARC and military forces broke out in Bete, Palo Blanco and Mercedes in the Middle Atrato, Choco, Colombia. The violence led to the killing of three civilians and wounding of three civilians as well as the retention and isolation of over two hundred members of the community. This most recent attack comes on the heels of a larger humanitarian crisis impacting more than thirty thousand Afro-Colombian and Indigenous civilians confined throughout the Middle Atrato."

Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network Condemns Ongoing Human Rights Abuses in Colombia 5/26/2011 WOLA: "This level of ongoing violence and abuse in Colombia is unacceptable especially at a time when the Obama Administration has announced that it plans to move forward with the FTA ."

Afro-Colombians Under Attack 5/1/2011 Solidarity: "Like 90% of the population of the Chocó region, the people of Bojayá are descendents of Africans who were brought as slaves to Colombia and who worked on extractive industries of mining, forest resources and fishing. Since manumission in 1851 Afro-Colombians have been incorporated into the Colombian nation through systems of racial hierarchies and structural racism that have materially marginalized and legally silenced them. Today, the Afro-Colombian population has some of the worst social indicators in Colombia, demonstrating extreme disparities between Afro-Colombians and the rest of the population. For instance, the annual per capita income of Afro-Colombians is between U.S. $500-$600, while the national average is $1500. Additionally 74% of the Afro-Colombian population makes less than minimum wage. These disparities are reflected in both health and education indicators as well. For Afro-Colombians infant mortality is 10-50% higher than the national average and life expectancy is 10-30% lower. Illiteracy is 43% for Afro-Colombians in rural areas while it is 23% for other rural populations."

The Invisible War Against Afro-Colombians 3/16/2011 Americas Quarterly: "This comes despite the de-escalation of Colombia’s three decade-long drug war. Still today armed militias are active and using terror tactics to expel Afro-Colombians from their ancestral territory. The reason is that the land is so valuable. It is considered among the richest in the world in terms of natural, exploitable resources, including oil, timber and minerals. Groups like the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), which can no longer generate enough income from drug trafficking and kidnapping, are turning to mining, both legal and illegal, along the Pacific Coast to finance weapons sales, according to President Juan Manuel Santos. With gold at near record levels, neo-paramilitary groups appear to be cashing in on this business as well."

Choquibtown afirma que Colombia es racista 2/8/2011 People: "El grupo afrocolombiano nominado al GRAMMY anglo como Mejor Álbum de Rock Alternativo de Latinoamérica denunció discriminación en su país; piden que no los llamen negros."

Ex subdirector del DAS dió la información que provocó el secuestro de Piedad Córdoba 1/23/2011 Contrainjerencia

La Corte ordena suspender proyecto vial en Barú 1/13/2011 Caracol: "La Corte Constitucional a través de una tutela ordeno suspender la construcción y mejoramiento de la vía transversal de Baru al considerar que no fue consultada la comunidad afro en esa región."

Afro-Colombian Farmers on Displacement and Resistance 1/5/2011 Upside Down World: "Activists working on behalf of Colombia’s internally displaced population are subjected to extrajudicial killings and death threats by paramilitary groups supported by the Colombian army and palm oil firms active in rural areas, Sanchez and Guzman report. "They say we're guerrillas and that they're going to kill us," says Sanchez."

Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network Statement 11/3/2010 Pan-African News Wire: "Paramilitaries Threaten Afro-Colombians that Recently Advocated for Human Rights at the OAS and U.S. Congress."

Denuncian el asesinato de 22 defensores de derechos humanos en los primeros 75 días de Santos 10/23/2010 Afrodescendientes

Colombia: Paramilitares dominan territorios y expulsan comunidades negras e indígenas 9/16/2010 Aporrea: "La actuación de un grupo paramilitar en los límites y en el territorio de Calima, en Colombia, está perturbando y perjudicando la vida de las poblaciones afro-colombianas e indígenas que residen en el lugar. Desde julio, los paramilitares están realizando operaciones armadas, amedrentando y amenazando a la población, realizando desalojos forzados, aislando a la población y cometiendo asesinatos. Dos meses después, el estado no dio ninguna repuesta ante tan grave situación."

El jefe de los escuadrones de la muerte gana las elecciones colombianas 7/1/2010 Afrodescendientes

Todos somos afrodescendientes 5/31/2010 Territorio Chocoano: "Es indispensable conocer nuestros ancestros, es decir, saber de dónde venimos, porque casi nadie reconoce que gracias al trabajo de los africanos y sus descendientes fue posible el desarrollo del país y el crecimiento del capitalismo. Los lucros de la producción formada por el trabajo esclavo llevaron al proceso de industrialización de Europa, continente que se ha beneficiado por el consumismo de todos los suramericanos y mediante el cual se avanzó hacia el modo de producción capitalista que luego se desarrolló en Colombia."

Informe del Movimiento Nacional Afrocolombiano CIMARRON sobre la situación de derechos humanos de la población afrocolombiana (1994-2004) 4/7/2009 EIP: publicado en 2004

Elecciones regionales de Colombia de 2007 4/7/2009 Wikipedia: tiene lista de miembros ganadores del partido Movimiento Nacional Afrocolombiano

AFROAMERICA XXI 1/12/2009 AfroAmerica 21

Afro-Colombians fight biodiesel producers 12/21/2008 BBC: "Mr Caceido, in his early 30s, says he moved to Bogota in 2001 after being threatened by presumed paramilitaries in Tumaco, a Pacific coast region. "We have been discriminated against in three ways," he says with steely restraint. "We are displaced, we are black and we are poor." It is Mr Caceido's view that underlying the displacement of countless Afro-Colombians is a clash in values between the communities' use of the land and an initiative of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to produce more palm oil for biodiesel. For Afro-Colombians, Mr Caceido says, land use is based on cultivating a few traditional crops for subsistence - such as corn, yucca and cocoa - or for hunting and fishing. But, according to human rights organisations working in the north-west Choco province, and in dense forests along the Pacific, paramilitary gangs are seizing Afro-Colombian land to facilitate biofuel conglomerates."

The Black President Colombia Won’t Acknowledge 12/11/2008 Tlaxcala: "Alvaro Uribe is not the 84th president of Colombia but the 85th as, for circumstances that the historians attribute to racism, a black president that this country had had in the middle of the nineteenth century, Juan José Nieto Gil, was literally erased from history."

Palm Oil in Colombia: Biofuel or Bioterror? 7/1/2008 Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association: "The 39-year-old Polo is vice president of the board of the Major Council, an organization of 21 communities that owns 42,700 hectares in the Curvaradó river basin in Chocó, Colombia. He is an active leader in his community’s efforts to recuperate collectively titled lands that have been occupied since 1997 by multinational oil palm companies connected to Colombia’s paramilitary. He has been the target of death threats by palm oil companies, he said, as have the legal representative of Curvaradó's Council, Ligia Maria Chaverra, and farmer Enrique Petro. Polo said, through interpreter Rocio Orantes, that he lives in a part of Colombia populated by people who were brought to the country from Africa as slaves, as well as indigenous and mixed-raced people. All have shared cultures and farmed there for many years, growing their own food and raising bananas for export to the United States."

Letting Down Afro-Colombians - The Shameful Failure of the Black Congressional Caucus 5/3/2008 Counterpunch: "H.Res. 618 calls on the Colombian government to end racial discrimination and protect Afro-Colombians’ constitutionally guaranteed lands. The resolution encourages the U.S. and Colombian governments to consult with Afro-Colombians when developing policies which stand to affect their communities. The measure is currently in the first stage of the legislative process and is being considered by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Co-sponsors of the bill include prominent African American lawmakers such as John Conyers, Jesse Jackson, Jr., and Barbara Lee. But, out of 38 African American members in the House, a whopping 13 refused to become co-sponsors of H.Res 618. What does this say about the leadership abilities of veteran legislators such as John Conyers? Even more disgracefully, Charlie Rangel, Democrat of New York and a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, refused to sign on to the legislation. In fact, African Americans from New York have been particularly derelict. Yvette Clarke, who represents one of the most liberal districts in the state comprising Park Slope, Brooklyn, also failed to support the legislation."

Este cochino racismo de siempre 4/21/2008 Renacientes

Address by Elizabeth Garcia Carillo for Ecumenical Advocacy Days 3/31/2008 Renacientes: "As part of our advocacy efforts to stop the U.S. Free Trade Agreement with Colombia, ART hosted Elizabeth Garcia Carillo for a week of visits to key members of Congress in order to speak about the impact of the FTA on indigenous, Afro-Colombian and displaced populations. Elizabeth represents the Confederation of Tryona Peoples, and is a lawyer for the Process for Black Communities, an umbrella organization of Afro -Colombian communities and organizations."

Take Action to Stop the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA): The FTA is a Threat to Afro-Colombian Rights. Afro-Colombian grassroots organizations are opposed to the FTA 3/31/2008 Renacientes: "As President Bush rushes to pressure the U.S. congress for a favorable vote on the U.S.-Colombia FTA, under the guise of national security, we need you to take action and let your representative know that approving the FTA will sentence Indigenous and Afro-Colombians communities to a life of poverty and exclusion."

Reunión con Asistente de Congresista Meeks. Presentación del Proceso de Comunidades Negras en Colombia. Bogotá 3/26/2008 Renacientes: "Los afrocolombianos somos el 26% del total de la población colombiana, aunque los datos del DANE, después de un censo mal aplicado, afirman que somos el 10.6%. Los siguientes puntos dan cuenta de la situación actual de nuestra población."

De las Guerrilleras Negras a Piedad Cordoba 3/8/2008 AfroCubaWeb: by Jesus “Chucho” Garcia

The Black right wing’s agenda in Colombia 2/29/2008 AfroCubaWeb: by Jesus “Chucho” Garcia

Why Afro-Colombians Oppose the Colombia Free Trade Agreement 2/29/2008 AfroCubaWeb: by Marino Cordoba, founder of the Association of Internally Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES) - "Colombia, South America is an important for African North Americans and other allies. Afro-Colombians comprise almost 40% of the Colombian population of around 42 million people. These Afro-Colombians are treated brutally by the Government and the Euro-Colombians. Now, the Colombian President Uribe needs the support of the Congressional Black Caucus to pass the Colombian Free Trade Agreement. So he accepts the proposal of some Afro-Colombians to create this phony Commission for the Protection of the 16 million Afro-Colombians. More than a million Afro-Colombians have been displaced from their homes and communities. Afro-Colombians are killed and forced into exile if they resist the sale their land. The Colombian government provides very few services and infrastructure for the Afro-Colombian community and Law 70 that gives Afro-Colombian rights to their ancestral lands is not implemented and the para-militaries under President Uribe is driving the Afro-Colombians from their land. Congressional Black Caucus member Gregory Meeks of New York and member of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) deceived Congressman Bobby Rush of Chicago and caused him to write a letter of support for the Colombia Free Trade Agreement and have it signed by members of the Congressional Black Caucus."

45 CONGRESISTAS DEL PARLAMENTO NEGRO ANALIZARAN EN CALI SITUACION DE LOS AFRODESCENDIENTES EN AMERICA LATINA 2/26/2008 Government of Colombia: "La reunión, que se realizará en Cali, Colombia, los días 14, 15 y 16 de marzo del presente año, se denominará: “Los desafíos del Parlamento Negro frente a la inclusión y la ciudadanía afrodescendiente en el contexto global”."

Canada aims to push ahead with Colombia trade deal 2/22/2008 Reuters: "Canada plans to push ahead and negotiate a free trade deal with Colombia despite human rights concerns that have stalled a similar agreement between Bogota and Washington, signed over a year ago."

OAS PROMOTES CIVIL SOCIETY PARTICIPATION IN THE HEMISPHERIC AGENDA 2/8/2008 Media Newswire: "The organizations chosen by the Selection Committee to execute projects were: Federación Nacional de Organizaciones No Gubernamentales para el Desarrollo de las Comunidades Afrocolombianas ( AFROAMERICA XXI ), of Colombia; Asociación Ecológica Santo Tomas A.C., of Mexico; Association Femmes Soleil d’Haiti ( AFASDA ), of Haiti; Corporación Participa, of Chile; Global Rights, of the United States; Asociación Tierra Nueva, of Paraguay; Movimiento Manuela Ramos, of Peru; and Participación Ciudadana, of the Dominican Republic."

Colombia “Free Trade” Is Harmful By Dr. Keith Jennings 1/28/2008 Black Star News: "The Colombia “free trade” deal currently being promoted by the Bush Administration should be opposed by all those who seek justice and those who want the United States to regain some of its lost respect at the international level. The human rights situation in Colombia—Latin Americas’ third largest country—is appalling and should be clearly and unequivocally condemned by all members of Congress, but especially the Congressional Black Caucus given the abuses faced by the Afro-Columbians. The free trade agreement, as proposed, is not about fair trade and in effect would further exacerbate human rights violations and environmental degradation in Colombia. This agreement would continue the marginalization and social exclusion of Afro-Colombians, Indigenous Peoples and the poor. Furthermore, the consequential exporting of manufacturing jobs from the United States will continue to have a disproportionately destructive and detrimental impact on Black workers."

Ganaron la izquierda y los liberales 10/29/2007 Vanguardia: "Con una alcaldía quedaron el Partido Verde Opción Centro, que conquistó la alcaldía de San José del Guaviare; el Movimiento Alas Equipo Colombia, que salió victorioso para dirigir la ciudad de Arauca, y el Movimiento Nacional Afrocolombiano “Afro”, obtuvo la alcaldía de Florencia."

Resultados Elecciones de Gobernadores 2007 - 2007 Gubernatorial Elections Results 10/28/2007 Georgetown: tiene lista de miembros ganadores del partido Movimiento Nacional Afrocolombiano

Congressman Gregory W. Meeks Releases a Joint Statement on the Massacre of Six Colombian Miners 10/20/2007 Earth Times

6 killed by machete in Colombia gold mine massacre 10/18/2007 Reuters: "The murders of the six displaced Afro-Colombians came the same week as Colombia's Constitutional Court sat in special hearing to review measures taken by the government to protect Afro-Colombian communities from forced displacement. The court had found last year they were "persistent gaps" in specific attention, both in prevention and assistance."

MINGA PARA ERRADICAR LOS CULTIVOS DE COCA PARA FINES ILICITOS EN EL TERRITORIO COLECTIVO DEL RÍO YURUMANGUI 9/30/2007 Renacientes: "Por siglos las comunidades negras han habitado el Territorio Región del Pacifico y desarrollado en el un proyecto de vida, sienten que hoy esta amenazado por megaproyectos, los monocultivos como la palma aceitera y por el avance de los cultivos para fines ilícitos; los últimos son factores que constituyen en la actualidad dos de los mayores riesgos para los derechos territoriales y ambientales de los afrocolombianos y para la diversidad biológica y cultural de esta rica, importante y estratégica bioregion."

Movimiento Nacional Afrocolombiano con la candidata a la alcaldía de Armenia, Ana María Arango A. 9/28/2007 Colombia Para Todos

Stella Estrada - Írimo 9/16/2007 AfroCubaWeb: "Stella Estrada is an AfroColombian author living in Spain who has come out with Írimo, a novel inspired by Abakuá. The title is from the composition by el Gran Combo of Puerto Rico of that name, and is derived from Ireme, the Abakuá masked dancer who represents the ancestors, each having a particular function such as peace-keeper, initiator, or warrior."

Pure Art Women’s Association 8/21/2007 Global Goods Partners: "Pure Art is a company jointly owned by community associations made up of 600 Afrocolombian women from Patia, Colombia and a group of private investors. The Women of Patia, in collaboration with Foundation Chemones Colombia, started Pure Art to generate employment and income for woman headed households."

Gregory Meeks y Edgar Ulises Torres no representan a las comunidades afro-colombianas 7/7/2007 Colombia IndyMedia: por Marino Córdoba, Director Afrodes-USA - "Aunque afro colombianos arrodillados al poder y el dinero negocien con Uribe la sangre de miles y miles de muertos negros y defiendan su gobierno en Estados Unidos, nosotros, las víctimas, seguiremos diciendo quiénes son los victimarios. Aunque Uribe nombre ministros y generales negros, si no se resuelve de raíz la tragedia de nuestro pueblo y se respetan sus derechos integrales no callaremos nuestras voces."

Entrevista con Carlos Rosero: "¡nadie se salva solo y nadie salva a nadie!. 6/13/2007 Renacientes: "El Tejido de Comunicación habló con el líder afro, Carlos Rosero, quien es integrante del equipo de coordinación nacional del proceso de comunidades negras – PCN, acerca de la situación que viven sus comunidades en medio del conflicto armado y las políticas neoliberales que afectan día a día la pervivencia de su pueblo."

COCOMACIA manifiesta su apoyo decidido a las justas demandas de los indigenas del Chocó 5/30/2007 IndyMedia, Colombia: "El pueblo negro representado en la COCOMACIA manifiesta su apoyo decidido a las justas demandas de la Asociación de Cabildos Indígenas del Chocó."

Afrocolombians displaced: with the backing of the United States, corporations kill and steal for Black land 5/1/2007 Color Lines: "Institutionalized racism has been reinforced by decades of internal displacement due to economic pressures and an internal civil war. From 1940 to 1990, the urban percentage of Colombia's population grew from 31 percent to 77 percent. AfroColombians joined this internal migration in hopes of gaining a better standard of living. Those hopes were dashed, and instead, Murillo says, "They joined the ranks of the urban poor, living in the marginal areas of big cities such as Cali, Medellin, and Bogota. Currently, most AfroColombians are living in urban areas. Only 25 percent, approximately three million people, are still based on the land." Those who remain in rural areas find themselves caught in the country's deadly civil war between government forces, insurgents and right-wing paramilitaries (who are politically linked to Colombia's conservative politicians including President Alvaro Uribe)."

Censo afrocolombiano 2005/ AfroColombian Census 2/16/2007 YouTube

Palenque San Basilio, Bolivar, Maroon Community in Colombia 5/19/2006 YouTube

Colombia’s census could mis-count Afro-Colombians 1/31/2006 Black Britain

Colombian communities under siege - Afro-Colombian leaders speak out! 10/5/2005 SF Bay View: by Willie Thompson, el unico. "When Afro-Colombians began filing for collective land titles, they were massacred by Colombia’s U.S.-funded military working in close collaboration with brutal illegal paramilitaries, creating massive displacement. Paramilitaries are now illegally occupying these lands, growing, among other things, coca plants used for cocaine. This has triggered U.S. funded aerial chemical fumigations, poisoning this most bio-diverse ecosystem in the hemisphere as it creates new waves of Afro-Colombian displacement. The United Nations has called Colombia ”a humanitarian catastrophe,” in which Afro-Colombians are now disproportionately impacted."

UNHCR urges aid for displaced people in Colombia's south-west 6/7/2005 Reuters

More than 1,000 people flee fear of clashes in Colombia's north-west 5/20/2005 Reuters: "The internally displaced people (IDPs), mostly Afro-Colombians, say they fled because they were afraid of fighting between the Colombian army and various armed groups operating around the Buey River, a tributary of the Atrato River in the north-western Chocó province. Some say they left after they saw a helicopter overhead and were afraid they would be shot at if mistaken for rebels. Others complain of having nothing to eat back home, having run out of supplies due to the unrest. According to the IDPs, these fears and conditions have provoked the displacement of the entire Afro-Colombian population in seven communities – San Jose de Buey, La Vuelta, Curuchí, San Antonio de Buey, Aurobuey, Chibugá and Mansa."

Afro-Descendants Marginalised and Ignored 5/19/2005 IPS: "There are almost four times as many people of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean than indigenous people, yet the poverty and discrimination they suffer are largely ignored, despite the fact that they are just as severe, or even worse, than the conditions facing the region's aboriginal inhabitants. The indigenous population, which comprises an estimated 40 million people, has taken on an increasingly active political role in Latin America. By contrast, the 150 million Afro-descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean have extremely limited political power and lack cohesive organisations to represent their interests. Their situation also receives far less attention in international forums and academic research… In Brazil, the white population is 2.5 times wealthier than the black population; in Colombia, 80 percent of Afro-descendants live in extreme poverty; and in Cuba, the only country in the hemisphere with a socialist economic system, blacks are largely relegated to the worst housing and the poorest paid jobs, according to studies conducted in these countries."

CREOLE CULTURE AND LANGUAGE IN THE COLOMBIAN CARIBBEAN 5/9/2005 Indymedia: "The present paper envisages the Afro-Caribbean Ethnia of San Andres in a developmental process. Once this aspect explicated and clarified, the most relevant cultural aspects are illustrated. The family, the possession of the land, gastronomy, religion, public administration and party politics, music and dancing, and the oral tradition are some of the main characteristics which will be taken into consideration, amongst others. One of the most important manifestations of any culture is language. In this case, the Afro-Caribbean people of San Andres and Old Providence coexist with the presence of several languages. Three of these languages are spoken and/or understood by the Creole people. Two of these languages come from a European heritage, the other is the product of cultural syncretism within African, Caribbean, and Anglo-Saxon elements in the context of a culture with an Afro-Caribbean air. Some central aspects of the Caribbean Creole language, with an English based lexicon, in the environment of the Archipelago of San Andres and Old Providence."

More than 2,000 Afro-Colombians displaced by violence 5/8/2005 AFP: "More than 2,000 people, many of them children, have been displaced by fighting in the north-western Colombian coast, several United Nations agencies said here. Most of them belong to communities of Colombians of African descent living in the Bojaya region, on the Pacific coast, according to the officials."

CREOLE CULTURE AND LANGUAGE IN THE COLOMBIAN CARIBBEAN 5/8/2005 Colombia IndyMedia: By: Oakley Forbes, Archipielago Movement for Ethnic Native Self Determination (AMEN-SD)

¡Ay San Pachito, Mi Amor! Colombia: la Fiesta de San Pacho 9/25/2004 CaribeNet: Colombia - "El Chocó manifiesta a través del San Pacho su sincretismo entre lo católico, los vástagos de las religiones africanas y la brujería."

San Pacho: cuarenta días de jolgorio y un día de reflexión 9/25/2004 Latino America Online: Colombia - "En medio de la selva chocoana y atravesada por el río Atrato está Quibdó; la capital del departamento del Chocó que en el mes de septiembre y en algunos días de octubre, se engalana para rendirle un homenaje a su patrono, San Francisco de Asis."

Ancient way of mining returns in machine age 7/13/2004 Miami Herald: "Tadó, where Pino lives, is one of the main gold and platinum mining towns in Colombia's Chocó province, which is wedged between the Andes and the Pacific. In its alluvial plains, which hold one of the highest densities of biodiversity on the planet, Afro-Colombian communities have been living off mining since Chocó was first populated with African slaves brought by the Spanish conquerors to extract the gold they found there."

PASC:Info evening on the Colombia Solidarity & Accompaniment Project 6/26/2004 CMAQ: "The Colombia Solidarity & Accompaniment Project (PASC, for its French acronym) is an independent organization based out of Montreal, Quebec which is working to create a network of direct solidarity with rural communities in civil resistance. As well as diffusing and sharing information about the human rights situation and social movements of the civilian population in Colombia, the PASC is putting the idea of direct solidarity into action by preparing and sending International Accompaniers to a group of villages directly affected by paramilitary repression. The physical presence of international accompaniers represents an important support for communities struggling for their rights as civilians living amidst an armed conflict… We will then focus on the Choco department and Afro-Colombian communities struggling against multinationals, paramilitaries and the State."

Indigenous Group Along Colombia-Venezuelan Border Threatened by Tensions, Smuggling 6/18/2004 One World: "Growing tensions between the governments of Colombia and Venezuela, as well as the persistence of fighting between left-wing insurgents and Army-backed paramilitary groups within Colombia, are threatening the welfare of a hundreds of members of the Wayuu indigenous group, descendants of the Arawaks who dominated the southern Caribbean before the European conquest of the Americas. A massacre allegedly committed by right-wing paramilitaries in the Caribbean border town of Bahia Portete two months ago reportedly killed at least 12 Indians, although 30 more, including 20 children, remain unaccounted for, according to Massachusetts-based Cultural Survival… Paramilitaries, who have long profited from drug trafficking, were, according to some accounts, invited into the region several years ago by local mafia families precisely to assert control over the trade. According to one report in the Bogota newspaper, 'El Tiempo,' the massacre was carried out in retaliation against a group that included some Wayuu from the town who allegedly stole cocaine from the paramilitaries. Another account published by 'El Espectador,' depicted the massacre as part of an ongoing struggle between the paramilitaries and a group of Wayuu over control of the port itself."

Hitting them while they’re down: The difficult position of Afro-Colombians 4/29/2004 Progreso Weekly: "Colombia has progressive laws providing Afro-Colombians with rights and displaced persons with help, but these laws have no teeth. They suffer intimidation, massacres, supply blockades, and massive displacement caused by the armed actors, both paramilitaries on the right and guerrillas on the left. They are also affected by harsh U.S.-funded drug policies that spray herbicides on illegal coca crops, often mixed with food crops, and are provided relatively little in the way of alternative development assistance. And Afro-Colombian communities endure lower scores than their compatriots on all the human development indicators. The Afro-Colombian population is no small minority, representing around a quarter to a third of the country’s population[1]. There are about 10 million Afro-Colombians, 900,000 of which are displaced[2] – a number which represents a large percentage of all displaced Colombians. Noteworthy when you consider that Colombia suffers the largest internal refugee crisis after the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo."

The Afro-Colombians: Afrodes 4/29/2004 Zmag: published 7/01 - "Afrodes is the name of the organization of displaced Afro-Colombians. Although we didn't have enough time with them, we had the privilege of hearing from some of the most courageous and effective organizers in the hemisphere. They were incredibly generous with their time and energy, opening their office to talk to us at great personal risk."

African Colombian activist wins $125,000 Goldman Environmental Prize 4/28/2004 SF Bay View: by Willie Thompson "Libia Grueso Castleblanco, a 43-year-old African Colombia civil rights and environmental activist, was presented last week with the “Nobel Prize” for the environment: the 2004 Goldman Environmental Prize… The 16 million Colombians of African descent have never had title to the land their ancestors lived on for more than 400 years as maroons, enslaved and ex-enslaved people. Law 70, passed in 1991 with determined pressure of Libia and others, grants Afro-Colombians collective land title rights to their ancestral lands. However, title to very little land, if any, has actually been transferred to them so far."

Afro-Colombians: 'Invisible' People Strive to Survive War, Racism 4/16/2004 NCM: "Ingrid Vaicius, a Colombia Project Associate at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., said the “invisibility” of Colombians of African descent stems from their staying to themselves on the Pacific Coast. And, she said, the Colombian government does not want to admit that its poorest and most marginalized citizens are Black. “The secret is out now because of so many Blacks being displaced from their farms and turning up in cities such as Bogotá, the Colombian capital. They have the worst education, and now they are at every stoplight begging and this is causing people to question why this is happening,” Ms. Vaicius explained… He and the other two activists also pointed out that U.S. foreign policy and militarization of the fight against drugs through “Plan Colombia” has displaced huge numbers of Blacks. “Plan Colombia,” started in 1999 under President Bill Clinton, was launched to stop cocaine production by supplying the Colombian government with helicopters and other aircraft to spray fields as well as military assistance. The U.S. gave $2.5 billion of aid. Critics say the operation has clearly caused more harm than good, with the brunt of Plan Colombia borne the backs of farmers. They complain that insecticides sprayed to kill coca plants often destroy food crops. Many also suspect the U.S. wants access to Colombia’s oil reserves and natural resources, like gold, silver and copper."

Afro-Colombians: 'Invisible' People Strive to Survive War, Racism 4/16/2004 NCM: "Ingrid Vaicius, a Colombia Project Associate at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., said the “invisibility” of Colombians of African descent stems from their staying to themselves on the Pacific Coast. And, she said, the Colombian government does not want to admit that its poorest and most marginalized citizens are Black. “The secret is out now because of so many Blacks being displaced from their farms and turning up in cities such as Bogotá, the Colombian capital. They have the worst education, and now they are at every stoplight begging and this is causing people to question why this is happening,” Ms. Vaicius explained… He and the other two activists also pointed out that U.S. foreign policy and militarization of the fight against drugs through “Plan Colombia” has displaced huge numbers of Blacks. “Plan Colombia,” started in 1999 under President Bill Clinton, was launched to stop cocaine production by supplying the Colombian government with helicopters and other aircraft to spray fields as well as military assistance. The U.S. gave $2.5 billion of aid. Critics say the operation has clearly caused more harm than good, with the brunt of Plan Colombia borne the backs of farmers. They complain that insecticides sprayed to kill coca plants often destroy food crops. Many also suspect the U.S. wants access to Colombia’s oil reserves and natural resources, like gold, silver and copper."

Afro-Colombians speak of surviving a war 4/12/2004 MundoAfroLatino

SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION COMPLETES MISSION TO COLOMBIA 1/3/2004 UN: "long and painful delay in the investigation of crimes coupled with many unsolved cases of murder of journalists, trade unionists and teachers that may never successfully be concluded – unfortunately this has fostered a culture of impunity creating intimidation and fear amongst the general public… Indigenous peoples, the Afro-Colombian minority and other ethnic groups still suffer discrimination, intolerance and social exclusion. Their right to express opinions and to be part of the decision-making process, especially on the land where they live, seems to have been neglected in spite of the adoption of specific laws in the past for their welfare."

Colombia's displaced caught in cross fire of war and racism 12/15/2003 CNN: "The last African slaves landed at Colombia's port of Cartagena 150 years ago. But long after abolition, their descendants are still not masters of their destiny. More than 50,000 refugees, almost all of them black, have left behind plots of land in the interior of Colombia and are now squatting on the outskirts of the former slave port… About 30 percent of the refugees are black or indigenous people although those groups make up 10 percent of the population overall, said Leila Lima, head of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Colombia."

Communities in resistance 12/9/2003 Latin America Press

Campesinos e indígenas rompen con la Justicia oficial 12/4/2003 ANNCOL: "Nueve comunidades rurales anuncian su ruptura total con el sistema de justicia colombiano. Entre las comunidades, que a partir de ahora se niegan a colaborar con el actual sistema, se encuentra la comunidad indígena U'wa, las Asociaciones Campesina del Valle del Cimitarra y Arauca, y la organización “Proceso de Comunidades Negras”. "

A call from family 10/29/2003 SF Bay View: "H., a current member of Afrodes, accompanied the African North American delegation through the Choco region where he is from. As we walked through the busy streets of the capital city of Quibdo, he told me his story. He has worked with Afrodes since 1993, I believe, and used to live about an hour or so down the river from Quibdo. There, he worked to secure land title for the earth historically inhabited by Afro-Colombians in the region. This was before 1996, when the FARC, who then controlled the region, didn’t like what he was doing and told him so. But they did not attempt to harm him. Circa 1996, paramilitaries took over the region. In about 1997, paramilitaries started threatening folks, and some of H.’s fellow organizers at Afrodes were killed. H. learned that he was on a list of people to be dealt with and decided to escape to Quibdo. But he discovered this was not far enough when he learned that the paramilitaries were still after him. So, he with other folks fled to Bogota, the capital of Colombia. He has lived there since, though not without risk. At one point, an attempt was made on his life. His friend Marino was shot in the leg."

Speakers to address U.S. policies on Colombia 9/23/2003 Lenawee Connection, MI: "The presentation will feature speakers Luz Marina Becerra, 29, who is secretary general of the Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians, or AFRODES, and Father Rafael Castillo, 45, who has nearly 20 years of experience working with communities affected by violence and poverty."

Colombians to discuss impact of foreign policy 9/23/2003 Western Herald, MI: "Castillo is a 45-year-old Afro-Colombian priest based in the city of Cartagena, where he works with communities affected by violence and poverty. Luz Marina Becerra is a 29-year-old Colombian woman from the province of Choco who was forced from her home five years ago. She is now the secretary general of one of the main organizations for displaced Afro-Colombians."

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE IN A COLOMBIAN WAR ZONE 9/13/2003 WW3: "When I ask Gonzalez if he has any closing words for readers in the United States, he immediately states that Washington must cut off aid to President Alvaro Uribe's government. "The government is the greatest perpetrator of violence in our communities," he says. When I point out that most of the violence in Vi lla Rica seems to come from ostensibly illegal criminal gangs and paramilitaries, he responds: "The paramilitary groups are funded by the same government. Everybody knows it." Before we get on the chiva back to Cali--before sundown, to avoid ga ng hold-ups--Gonzalez offers his final words: "Every dollar from the United States is one more death. They are cutting health, education, public services-- everything is going for the war. The United States government needs to reflect about what it is doing to our country." "

Afro-Colombian Leader Murdered 9/6/2003 AfroCubaWeb: "The Black Communities Process in Colombia ? PCN - denounces before the country and the world the assassination of JOSE LUCIANO CASTILLO ALEGRIA, respected Afro-Colombian leader from the coast of the Department of Nariño, by the 29th Front of the FARC-EP (Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia-Army of the People)."

Colombia declares war on its own Black citizens 7/2/2003 SF Bay View: "The Colombian government has declared war on its own citizens of African descent by labeling the activists among them as guerillas or terrorists. Repeated massacres, the latest during a June 14 invasion on the Anchicaya River, where paramilitaries assassinated five and wounded many more, have targeted African Colombian community organizers exercising their constitutional right to own and control their own resource-rich territories, defending them against developers determined to cut down their forests, extract their oil and uranium and steal their land for the construction of ports, highways and hydroelectric projects. Last week, June 21-27, 11 delegates from Afro-America XXI, an alliance of organizations representing the 253 million people of African descent in 43 countries of the Western Hemisphere, visited Washington, D.C., to report on crises in Colombia and several other countries and demand support. They came armed with the powerful though little known fact that African descendants comprise 30 percent of the 822 million people who live in those 43 countries."

Colombian rights abuses decried - Displacement of peasants targeted 3/29/2003 Montreal Gazette: "Their main complaint was about forced displacement of Afro-Colombian peasant communities in the department of Chocó by military and right-wing paramilitary forces."

Meet and Greet with Afro-Columbian Delegation 3/23/2003 Yahoo: "The 36-person delegation from Columbia has issued the following statement to clarify who they are, and who they represents, and their main purpose for coming to Washington, DC at this time. We thanks the Howard University Project on Appropriate Technology, the Blackburn Center and the Afroamerican XXI for helping to facilitate this introduction and opportunity to meet, and dialogue with representatives of the African community in Columbia. We are also helping to facilitate meetings with key sectors and groups within the African community in DC, Richmond and New York. Our objective is to meet, listen to and learn from them, and to see if and where we can be helpful to them, and their struggle and work. For us, self-determination is the critical and key component of any and all solidarity work."

"We Copied Our Tactics from Israel"- Medellín: Life Under Paramilitary Occupation 3/19/2003 Counterpunch: "The state and paramilitaries that appeared after 1999 fear and loathe such independent community organizing as much as they do the "revolutionary" militias. Paramilitaries had displaced a considerable minority of Comuna 13's residents from the countryside in Urabá in the 1980s and 90s, many of them Afro-Colombians; all arrived in Comuna 13 with venerable traditions of village organizing and protest intact. Operation Orion and the subsequent paramilitary occupation of Comuna 13 have, however, displaced the displaced."

Commission grants €8 million in humanitarian aid for Colombia 3/11/2003 Reuters: "It is estimated that almost half of the internally displaced people (IDPs) are under the age of 18. A large proportion of IDPs are indigenous people or Afro-Colombians."

Indigenous people give US oil company the boot 3/10/2003 ANNCOL: "The Bush administration recently allocated 98 mio. US dollars in military aid and sent Green Berets to protect Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum's oil pipeline in Colombia against attacks from leftist rebels. Now the indigenous U'wa people tell the US oil company (also known as OXY) and its Colombian partners to get out af the U'wa territories."

Army kidnaps and murders two blow pipe hunters 3/6/2003 ANNCOL: "Two indigenous Embera blow pipe hunters never returned to their village: They were murdered by troops who afterwards presented the corpses as guerrillas killed in combat. In a seperate incident Colombian Air Force bombards village and kills 9-year old girl. " - Not a military error, she was a relative of a guerrilla soldier," says Air Force commander." - the US funded genocide continues while some Americans wonder "Why do they hate us so?"

Luis Gilberto Murillo, former governor of Chocó Province, Colombia 3/2/2003 Global Exchange: See events listing for March and April. "Luis Gilberto Murillo, a former Colombian governor now exiled in the US, will travel the country urging people to oppose a larger US role in Colombia's civil war… In 1998 Mr. Murillo won a tight victory to become the country's youngest governor and the leader of Chocó, the poorest state in Colombia. Mr. Murillo's success was the result of his tireless organizing efforts in support of environmental protection and the country's Afro-Colombian and indigenous populations. His aggressive advocacy on behalf of the country's voiceless constituencies while in office soon led to death threats from Colombia's right-wing paramilitaries."

UN appeals for $50 million to help 2 million Colombian refugees 2/24/2003 UN: "Last year alone more than 250,000 Colombians were forced to flee their homes, with indigenous people being particularly affected, to the extent that most of the indigenous population has been or is displaced, or is at risk of being so. The Afro-Colombian communities have also been severely affected. Almost half the total population of displaced persons are children."

El exterminio de los indigenas Kuna 2/5/2003 ANNCOL: "El exterminio de los indigenas Kuna es parte del proyecto de contrareforma agraria comenzado por el Gral. Rito Alejo - santo de la devoción del hoy alto gobierno - escribe Alfredo Molano (Tomado del Equipo Nizkor)"

Comunidades negras colombianas bajo el fuego paramilitar 1/12/2003 AfroLatino.org: "García es dirigente del Proceso de Comunidades Negras, una red de 140 organizaciones que tienen su base en la región selvática y húmeda del Pacífico colombiano. A raíz de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente de 1991, las comunidades afro-colombianas, que habitan la región por más de 300 años, lograron la legalización de sus tierras de las que ahora están siendo desalojados por los grupos paramilitares de las Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, que cuentan con 8000 hombres en armas y son responsables de numerosas matanzas de población civil desarmada. En la siguiente entrevista, el dirigente afro-colombiano desentraña los verdaderos objetivos de los paramilitares, su forma de operar y los devastadores efectos que están teniendo la violencia sobre las comunidades negras de esta atormentada región."

Afro-Colombian struggle for land and justice 12/31/2002 SF Bay View: "Colombia has 40 million people – 26 percent of them of African descent, mostly in the Pacific region. Since the period of slavery, we have shared that area with indigenous Native Americans… In 1993, a law was passed that said that the Black population should delineate the areas where it had lived and apply for titles. The law also said that the government must recognize the Black population’s rights and devote money to social spending in consultation with the communities. The community organizations met resistance from those who had been exploiting natural resources in our region such as gold and wood. Communities demanded title to the land. Since then we’ve experienced assassinations and expulsion by military groups paid by political and business interests. My organization won the first collective titles in that region. Seven days later, at 5:00 a.m., on Dec. 13, 1996, paramilitary groups arrived in my town, Riosucio, intent on murdering the leaders and their families. Many were taken from their beds and paraded naked through the streets. Anyone who resisted was killed. The shouts woke me up. I ran to take refuge in the swamp along with many others. At 8:00 a.m., army helicopters started patrolling. The paramilitaries radioed the pilots to attack the swamp, claiming the people were guerrillas. The army attacked us with bombs and rifles, killing many people. Those who survived stayed in the water for three days until hunger and desperation forced us out. Some of us sneaked through the town and reached a rural community across the river. I recuperated there, then fled to Bogota, where I live today."

The Afro-Colombian Struggle for Land & Justice 9/1/2002 The Voice, Illinois: By Marino Córdoba, Colombia

JOINT OPERATION BY ARMY, MARINES AND DEATH SQUADS 8/15/2002 ANNCOL: "Organisations representing indigenous, peasant and Afro-Colombian communities in the Naya region of Colombia have sent a message saying that they fear that the security forces are preparing for a large-scale operation in the region aimed at assassinating locals accused of being guerrilla sympathisers. The urgent message, which was signed by local social and church organisations and human rights groups, says that they fear a repeat of the huge massacre last year in with soldiers and death squads killed over 100 civilians in Naya. According to the document in recent months the paramilitaries have carried out more and more selective assassinations in the area, which is made up of the municipalities of Buenos Aires and Suárez in Cauca department and Buenaventura municipality in neighbouring Valle department."

Congressional Black Caucus and African Colombians force meeting with Colombian President-elect Uribe 7/17/2002 SF Bay View: "Congressman John Conyers, D-Mich., representing the near 40-member Congressional Black Caucus, whose members in turn represent millions of American taxpayers and voters including 35 million people of African descent in the U.S., met with the “disinterested” Colombian President-elect Alvaro Uribe Velez in the office of the Colombian ambassador on June 20 after “forcing” the president-elect not to “blow off the CBC… Congressman Conyers described the meeting as “positive but not naïve. They were gracious. They got the point,” he said. The CBC, the African Colombians, and African Colombian support groups in the United States and throughout the world are moving forward to stop the killing and begin the healing in Colombia. Eleven CBC staffers will visit Bogota and Choco from Aug. 10 to 15 to collect and analyze information and write a report on their observations of the crisis in Colombia. Congressman Conyers will lead a congressional delegation to Colombia after the November election.” The CBC invited the newly elected president, who owns land and a hacienda in the African Colombian state of Choco, to meet with the CBC during its weekly policy luncheon on June 19. Uribe rejected the invitation, saying “he couldn’t find time in his schedule,” according to the Colombian embassy. However, two years of work by the CBC and African Colombians in the United States, the warning of a white congressional colleague to Uribe not to “blow off the CBC,” the threat of unfavorable media exposure and a surprisingly cool U.S. reception forced Uribe to meet in the Colombian ambassador’s office the next day with Congressman Conyers. The other CBC members were unable or unwilling to comply with the contemptuous scheduling of the Colombian head of state."

Congressional Black Caucus challenges Colombian armed forces on Black massacre in Chocó 6/19/2002 SF Bay View: "Many Blacks in the U.S. are unaware that people who look just like them are the majority or a significant portion of the populations of such Latin American nations as Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, and Colombia. That racial discrimination and worse exists in Central and South America is also little known in North America. Nowhere in the Western Hemisphere do Black-skinned people predominate in conspicuous high-level government positions."

With their backs to the wall, African Colombians are fighting back and need our help 6/14/2002 SF Bay View: "African Colombians note that in 1997 the paramilitaries auspiciously arrived in Medio Atrato, a zone in the municipality of Bojaya, with Alvaro Uribe Velez, then the governor of Antioquia, a neighboring municipality. Antioquia neighbors Choco, the ancestral home of African Colombians, which has become virtually uninhabitable. “Twenty-five days after the May 2 church massacre, the Colombian National Army and paramilitaries are in the urban wastelands of Vigia del Fuerte and Bellavista, where there isn’t a soul remaining,” the correspondent writes. Antioquia, a predominantly white municipality, has been an area of great violence since the beginning of hostilities in the mid 1940s. “They are killing us for no reason,” the writer from Bojaya says. “They kill us while we seek protection in the church. They kill us because we don’t agree with all the things the government, the paramilitaries and the guerrillas are doing. For me,” he continues in an e-mail dated May 27, “it is better to die standing than to live on my knees. There’s no way out of the crisis. I have decided to die speaking out, not as my countrymen died on May 2 and as thousands of African Colombians have died during the last 10 years.” The massacre and displacement of African Colombians by an indifferent Colombian government and a national military of 60,000 aligned with a paramilitary force of 10,000 fighters involves us, the people of the United States, as citizens, voters and tax payers. Our Congress approved in 2000 a $1.1 billion mostly military aid package called Plan Colombia and is debating a $35 million supplementary emergency fund to help Colombia fight terrorism, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Bush wants $494 million more in military and police aid plus $164 million in economic aid. He has also proposed spending $98 million next year to protect the Colombian oil export pipeline operated by Occidental of Los Angeles. Congress has also approved $363 million in economic and social programs since 2000. The U.S. is now involved in a counterinsurgency operation, not an anti-narcotics program in Colombia. The U.S. government, the Colombian government and the Colombian paramilitary forces are now pitted against the 22,000 member leftist rebel groups. The African Colombians want ownership of their ancestral lands. They want economic assistance to create jobs, education and health programs and fund business development."

The Congressional Black Caucus Weighs In On The Plight Of Afro-Colombians 6/12/2002 Black Electorate: "It is always illuminating and at times disappointing when we encounter instances where Black people in the United States of America express ignorance of the fact that people who look just like them are the majority or are significant members of the populations of nations in the Western Hemisphere like Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, Panama etc...Unfortunately, the physical appearance of the most prominent leaders in these nations and others, particularly in the lower half of The Americas, only supports ignorant attachments to racial stereotypes, as the lack of Black-skinned individuals in leading government positions is obvious to just about anyone."

Genocide of African-Colombians - Report from Black Colombians at ground zero 6/8/2002 SF Bay View: published 5/22, this is an important article - "On May 2, 302 people, 32 percent of the population of Bellavista, a town in Choco of more than 800 people, were killed, wounded or disappeared. Four other massacres have been committed against these small internally displaced African Colombians - at La Mejor Esquina, Machuca, El Naya and Baudo. These massacres reaffirm the charges by African Colombians that they have been targeted for physical and cultural genocide."

Families flee their war-torn villages 5/12/2002 Boston Globe: "FARC is blamed for the 117 deaths at the church in Bojaya. But many of Choco's inhabitants appear to feel the killings in Bojaya are just another consequence of a long history of state neglect of this region of 500,000 people, the majority of whom are descendants of African slaves. Their average per capita income is lower than Haiti's, according to government estimates."

Pastrana: "Fue una masacre" 5/6/2002 BBC: a casual glance through the pics show aspects of Columbia's identity not much seen in the US media. While Venezuela has a higher percentage of Afrolatinos and Indians, in Columbia too, it is the wealthy whites against everyone else.

A Speaking Tour on the plight of Afro-Colombians 4/1/2002 Colombian Human Rights Network: See our AfroColombia page. "The Colombia Human Rights Network and the US Office on Colombia are organizing a speaking tour for two Afro-Colombian human rights defenders in April 2002. Nimia Vargas and Marino Cordoba will visit cities across the United States and give first hand accounts of their lives and their personal struggle in a country torn by war. They will give testimony of the massacre of rural communities and the persecution of civilians by both sides in the war, by paramilitary groups, supported by the Colombian military, and by guerrilla forces."

PARAMILITARIES ARE MOVING IN ON AFROCOLOMBIAN COMMUNITIES OF THE COLOMBIAN PACIFIC COAST 2/16/2002 AfroCubaWeb

Herbicide Problems [in Columbia] 1/14/2002 60 Minutes: genocide. The victims are largely poor farmers, many of them of Indian and African heritage.

Colombia: Logging and violence against Afro-Colombian communities in the Chocó 1/1/2002 World Rain Forest: "This forestry exploitation they are complaining about implies a disregard for the Afro-Colombian communities’ rights, set out in Law 70, officially recognising their territories. The artificial channels opened up by the logging company have further exposed the communities to the para-military forces by making access and fast offensive and monitoring movements possible from military locations."

Colombians cheer for a dark beauty 12/2/2001 Boston Globe: in the midst of Plan Columbia, a billion dollar effort where the paramilitary right oppresses the poor, the AfroColumbianos, the Indians: "''In Latin America blondes have always been seen as the ideal,'' said Arlene Davila, author of ''Latino Inc.,'' a new book that analyzes how products are marketed to Latinos in the United States and Latin America. Programs filmed in Latin America often show more light-skinned blondes than dark-haired people - a skewed reality considering natural blondes are a tiny minority. Colombia's ''black'' population, by contrast, hovers around 40 percent, which includes people of mixed race. Several other Latin American countries have large black populations: Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. Many others, including Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru, have huge indigeneous populations which, critics say, are similarly underrepresented in pop culture - including the world of beauty pageants like the Miss Columbia contest."

El Choco: The African Heart of Colombia 2/23/2001 ISLA: "Colombia's Black minority comprises 36-40% of the national population, but is officially recognized at 26%. This means our population is about 11 million of the 42 million people in Colombia… Some historians view the Choco as a very big palenque with a large population of cimarrones, especially in the areas of the Baudo River. There were very popular cimarron leaders like Benkos Biojo and Barule who fought for freedom. Black people played a key role in the independence struggle against Spain. Historians say that there were three African soldiers for every five soldiers in Bolivar's army. Not only that, we participated at all levels of the political and military structure."

El Choco: The African Heart of Colombia 2/23/2001 ISLA: "The following is a speech given by Luis Gilberto Murillo, former governor of Choco State, Colombia."

A Colombian governor's plea for peace 2/7/2001 Progressive Media: "I am a former governor of Chocó, the most impoverished department of Colombia. In 1998, I tried to declare Chocó a neutral zone, a territory of peace free from the combat ravaging my country. Because of my work for peace, I was kidnapped by people who identified themselves as paramilitaries."

Hernan Cortés, National Coordination, Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN) 2/1/2001 Colombia's Invisible Popular Struggles: "The Black Peoples Process resists becoming symbols of an active and peaceful struggle facing a devastating process that has turned them into the main victims of genocide. As of May 2000, military and paramilitary violence against the Afro Colombian communities increased dramatically. Over 76 lives have been lost from May to December 2000."

MESSAGE OF UNITY FOR ALL THE AFROCOLOMBIANS 1/21/2000 Radaza

Colombia: violence and deforestation in the Choco region 11/1/1999 World Rain Forest: "The Pacific Region of the country, known for its abundance of natural resources and cultural richness, as well as for the constant process of depredation that it has suffered since colonial times (see WRM Bulletin 27 ) is victim of this type of activities. The Forcibly Displaced Afro-Colombian Communities of the Cacarica Basin of the Choco, provisionally settled in Turbo, Bocas del Atrato and Bahia Cupica have denounced the illegal and indiscriminate deforestation of their lands by the YIREH cooperative. This company is apparently operating in connection with the logging corporation Darien Woods Company (Maderas de El Darien)."


Books ~ Articlestop

Chocó Rwanda of the Americas

Bibliografía para AfroColombia, Universtitat de Barcelona

Media

news.afrocolombians.com/news

América Negra - Pontificia Universidad Javierana, Colombia
La Revista América Negra es una publicación semestral de la Expedición Humana que acoge materiales sobre cualquiera de las disciplinas que se ocupan de la descripción y análisis de las poblaciones humanas. La Revista hace énfasis en las comunidades negras e indígenas del continente americano y sus relaciones con poblaciones de otros lugares del mundo.

Grupo Afrodescendiente Discussions


Demographics
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"Colombia has 40 million people – 26 percent of them of African descent, mostly in the Pacific region. Since the period of slavery, we have shared that area with indigenous Native Americans." - Afro-Colombian struggle for land and justice  12/31/02 SF Bay View

World Fact Book

Population: 38,580,949 (July 1998 est.)

Ethnic groups: mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed
black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%

Age structure:
0-14 years: 33% (male 6,474,927; female 6,321,404)
15-64 years: 62% (male 11,725,078; female 12,333,982)
65 years and over: 5% (male 780,486; female 945,072) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.89% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 24.93 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 5.69 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 25.44 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.06 years
male: 66.15 years
female: 74.11 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.9 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Colombian(s)
adjective: Colombian

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%

Languages: Spanish

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.3%
male: 91.2%
female: 91.4% (1995 est.)top

Organizations

Afro-Colombian News

Afro-Colombian Organizations
Compiled by Colombia Vive, Boston

Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN)

Afrodes

Afrodescendientes - libros afrocolombianos a descargar gratis

Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES)

COCOMACIA - Consejo Comunitario Mayor de La Asociación Campesina Integral del Atrato

Corporación para el Desarollo Afrocolombiano - COPRODEPA

Fundación Assim Bonanga Colombia

La Fundación para el Desarrollo y Fortalecimiento de las Comunidades Afrocolombianas FUNDESARROLLOAFRO

El Instituto Latinoamericano de Servicios Legales Alternativos Ilsa

IndyMedia, Afro Colombia

Luis Gilberto Murillo - Global Exchange
Luis Gilberto Murillo, a former Colombian governor now exiled in the US, will travel the country urging people to oppose a larger US role in Colombia's civil war.

Movimiento Cimarron

Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado - MOVICE

Movimiento Nacional AfroColombiano - www.movimientoafro.com, el movimiento politico mas importante del pais. Nuestro movimiento politico, en las pasadas elecciones regionales (2007) obtuvimos la historica votacion de casi 800.000 votos convirtiendose en el partido o movimiento politico con mayor crecimiento del pais y un hecho historico al ser un movimiento de origen afrocolombiano. La representatividad la da el hecho de tener un Gobernador (departamento del Cauca), ocho (8) alcaldía, con la capital del departamento del Caquetá (Florencia), dos diputados y 130 concejales. La gestion realizada por el Movimiento Nacional Afrocolombianoes la inclusion social en nuestro pais y la accion inicial fue la inclusion dentro de los planes de desarrollo de cada municipio donde tenemos presencia, la atencion a la poblacion afrocolombiana. Tenemos multiples actividads en el pais desarrollando una n ueva cara del proceso afrocolombiano. -- Marcel Echeverry Valencia,  Presidente Movimiento Nacional Afrocolombiano "afro"
Vease tambien nuestra pagina en AfroCubaWeb, Movimiento Nacional Afrocolombiano

Conferencia Nacional de Organizaciones Afrocolombianas CNOA

Plan Colombia y PCN (Proceso de Comunidades Negras)

Portal Web Cimarrón - www.cimarronracismo.org

Proceso de Comunidad Negras (PCN) - main site

Red Nacional de Mujeres Afrocolombianas

US Office on Colombia - Afro-Colombian Groups

Afro-Latin Organizations

Población AfroDescendiente de America Latina UNDP

 

Meet Carlos Rosero, Process of Black Communities in Colombia (PCN), 6/23/05, Dorchester, MAtop

REFLECT & STRENGTHEN cordially invites you to an evening of knowledge
about what's really going on in one of the countries that we as citizens
of the United States are financially supporting. Please come and share
your thoughts...

What do you know about Colombia? Soccer?War? Drugs? Cartels? Do you know about African Communities living in peaceful resistance in Colombia?

Although they have been there for centuries, did you know that it wasn't until the 1990’s that the Colombian constitution for the first time recognized the existence of “Afro Colombian Communities” with equal rights as a people in Colombia?

Did you know that although they make up about 43% of the Colombian population, only about 1% of Afro Colombians have access to attend a college?

Do you know about the struggles of our sisters and brothers due to the military aid provided by the United States to Colombia? Well there's much more to learn and this is your change to speak directly with one of the leaders of the Afro-Colombian movement; Carlos Rosero!

Carlos Rosero was a key leader in the creation of PCN, the Process of Black Communities in Colombia. PCN is a national grassroots organization who continuously defends Afro-Colombian territories and peace communities and fights for human rights, which are severely affected by the armed conflict that has expelled thousands of Afro Colombian families from their homes.

Come meet one of the most outstanding leaders of the Afro Colombian movement 
and let’s build a movement of solidarity!!! 


THIS THURSDAY JUNE 23rd!!! 6pm - FREE
Freedom House
14 Crawford Street
Dorchester, MA 02121

For information, please contact Eli Pabón at 857-472-2820 or email
elizabeth@reflectandstrengthen.org


For directions log onto http://www.freedomhouse.com/contactus/index.html

This event is co-sponsored in partnership with Reflect & Strengthen, American Friend’s Service Committee and Jobs With Justice

 

General Resources & News Sourcestop

Afro-Colombian Resources - The Colombia Observatory

Afro-Colombian Groups - US Office on Colombia

www.etniasdecolombia.org

www.renacientes.org - Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN)

Actualidad Etnica
actualidad.hemeracomunicar.org

www.colombiaaprende.edu.co/html/etnias/1604/channel.html

Afro-Colombia: A Case for Pan-African Analysis, Joseph F. Jordan, 2006 with 2013 update, PDF


Music

Colombia, Afropop Worldwide


A Colombian governor's plea for peace, 2/7/01
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By Luis Gilberto Murillo

I am a former governor of Chocó, the most impoverished department of Colombia. In 1998, I tried to declare Chocó a neutral zone, a territory of peace free from the combat ravaging my country. Because of my work for peace, I was kidnapped by people who identified themselves as paramilitaries. Death threats were leveled at my family and myself. Fearing for our lives, we fled to the United States in July of 2000. We now live here in exile.

But the majority of the Colombian people do not have the option of exile. They have nowhere to run from the violence in my country. The Bush administration's announcement that it plans to expand the Clinton administration's $1.3 billion aid package to Colombia and its neighbors will only make matters worse for a lot of my fellow citizens.

The aid package, which is supposedly intended to help bring a "peaceful and sensible resolution" to Colombia's conflict, is a grave mistake. It will force Americans to pay with their checkbooks, and Colombians with their lives.

Sixty percent of the aid the Colombian government is receiving will be going to the Colombian military, notorious for having one of the worst human-rights records in the world. According to Human Rights Watch's most recent annual report, "Colombia's armed forces continue to be implicated in serious human rights violations."

Paramilitary groups, working closely with the Colombian military, often harass and terrorize citizens. Just last month, right-wing paramilitaries entered the village of Chengue in northern Colombia before dawn and herded the men of the village into the town square. The paramilitaries then killed at least 25 of them with sledgehammers and rocks, as their families watched, before setting fire to houses and shops. Survivors told the Washington Post that the Colombian military provided safe passage to the paramilitaries and sealed off the area to facilitate the massacre.

There are now more than 1.8 million Colombians who are refugees within our own country. Left with no other option, some move to the large cities and join the ranks of the urban poor. Others, desperate and destitute, join guerrilla organizations or the paramilitaries for survival. The cycle of oppression and poverty continues, and the conflict deepens.

But peace, for so long a distant prospect, has begun to light the Colombian horizon.

In October 2000, the long-ignored Colombian people met with representatives of the Colombian government and rebel groups in Costa Rica in a conference named Paz Colombia (Peace Colombia). This conference was an attempt to begin a democratic dialogue that will bring a political and peaceful end to Colombia's civil conflict. Only two years ago, such a meeting between the intensely divided sectors of the Colombian people would have been difficult to bring about.

Even the left-for-dead peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC, Colombia's largest rebel group, have been resuscitated. Colombian President Andres Pastrana and FARC leader Manuel Marulanda are meeting this week to revive the talks.

Despite these overtures, the Bush administration has unwisely decided to extend weapons to Colombia instead of olive branches. As a result, the hopeful glow of peace dims in the darkness of this 40-year war. The Colombian military, newly trained and armed by the United States, is planning major offensives in the south. The guerrillas, battle-tested after four decades in the jungle, are digging in, preparing for the upcoming battles.

And the Colombian people are caught in between. They desperately want -- and deserve -- to live in a country without war.

Luis Gilberto Murillo is a former governor of the department of Chocó, and the youngest person ever to be elected governor in Colombia. He and his family currently reside in the Washington, D.C., area. He can be reached at pmproj@progressive.org

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