Writing for Julie Turkwitz New York Times, Reported on Marquez’s wonderful journey:
Ms. Marquez’s rise is important not only because she is black in a country where Afro-Colombians are regularly subjected to racism and they must face structural barriers, but also because she is free from poverty in such a country. Where it comes from Economic class often defines a person’s place in society. Most of the former presidents were educated abroad and are associated with the country’s powerful families and kingmakers.
Despite economic gains in recent decades, Colombia remains completely uneven, a trend that has worsened during the epidemic, with black, aboriginal and rural communities lagging behind. Forty percent of the country lives in poverty. […]
She grew up sleeping on a mud floor in an area affected by the country’s long-running internal conflict. She became pregnant at age 16, went to work in a local gold mine to raise her child, and eventually sought work as a live-in maid.
This is not the resume that Colombia expects to see nationally, or almost anywhere in the region. To get a closer look at who he is, this video was made when he won the 2018 Goldman Environment Award.
Their website details his activity:
Francia Marquez, a strong leader of the Afro-Colombian community, organized the women of La Toma and stopped illegal gold mining in their homeland. She put constant pressure on the Colombian government and led a 10-day, 350-mile march of 80 women to the nation’s capital, removing all illegal miners and equipment from her community. […]
Once in Bogota, Marquez and women protested on the streets for 22 days. In December 2014, the Marquez and La Toma communities reached an agreement with the Colombian government. Officials agreed to take action to end illegal mining in La Toma. All machinery and backhouses operating illegally in the area will be confiscated and destroyed. In 2015, the government created a National Task Force on Illegal Mining – the first of its kind in Colombia. As a direct result of Marquez’s work, all illegal mining in La Toma ceased. By the end of 2016, all illegal mining machinery operating in La Toma had been physically removed or destroyed by Colombian security forces.
During the 2014-2016 campaign to combat illegal mining in La Toma, Marquez was repeatedly harassed, humiliated and threatened. He was forced to go to Kelly for safety. Marquez continues to press the government to study the effects of illegal mining in the North Kaka region, especially the pollution of the Oweja and other rivers. Independent reports show mercury levels of up to 500 parts per billion in those critical water sources, while Colombian standards allow up to 1 part per billion in potable water. Mercury and cyanide contamination of water is causing serious health problems for people in La Toma and the greater area.
In 2019, he and other activists working with him survived an assassination attempt:
The outrage was reported at several Spanish-language outlets.
Latino rebels report the story in English:
On Saturday, May 4, gunmen opened fire on a group of environmental activists in Santander de Quilichao, Colombia. Afro-Colombian environmentalist Frances Marquez was among the targeted group. […]
In 2018, 155 human rights activists were killed in the country. Many of these targets work directly with Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities.
Marquez survived. However, others did not – he reported the murder on social media.Trigger Warning: ViolenceShe survived a month after the attack.
Maria del Pillar Hurtado, an Afro-Colombian woman, a social leader from C ਕੋਰrdoba, was threatened by black hawks and killed yesterday in front of her son who screams and screams in pain and importance … then Until the President VanIvanDuque ? Stop vandalism in advance.
(FYI: The Black Eagles are a paramilitary hit squad.)
Back to the present: The reactions from Black Columbia to his election on social media are happy! I have to admit that I got a big smile on my face when I saw this tweet posted from a man’s reaction to the news.
Election data analysts are also weighing in on the importance of his voter turnout in winning the election for newly elected Left President Gustavo Petro.
The orange area on the map in the tweet below is where most Afro-Colombians live.
This fact was not lost on the observers of Black Columbia.
(Translation: You are indebted to Afro-Colombia @petrogustavo People expect real action for the betterment of black people. We expect better physical conditions, security, youth employment and infrastructure.)
An interesting aspect of her campaign was how she connected with people from the Colombian Diaspora, including about 5 million Colombians living abroad, about which Lisa Schmidt wrote to NACLA:
Marquez, an Afro-Colombian environmentalist and lawyer, is new to politics. After announcing his candidacy, Marquez has become a rallying point for Colombian activists and young people dissatisfied with the situation. She is only the second black woman to run for president in Colombia and campaigned on a platform that challenges traditional powers in a highly military, conservative country. Unlike other presidential candidates, Marquez hails from a small majority black town in southwestern Colombia and has no political machine behind him. So he did something that other candidates did not do: he appealed to the Colombian Diaspora. […]
The belief that the work affects voters not only abroad but also in Colombia, Castenedas said, prompted volunteers to expand their international reach, and, hopefully, to make Marquez a globally recognized name. Will create more interest and awareness in his home. Country. And their efforts paid off.
In the March 19 presidential primary, Marquez received 785,000 votes, the third highest number of career politicians from any party. According to Castanedas, 28 percent of the vote for Marquez came from the Diaspora.
I was also following other answers, including Nigerian-Trinidadian American Applied Linguistics Professor Dr. Author of Uju Anya. Ethnic Identity in Second Language Learning: Speaking Black in Brazil In response to which he happily tweeted NYT Articles:
He then posted several follow-up tweets that made important points:
He closed his tweet thread, warning those who deny racism. Those of us who have studied and taught about racism and racism in Latin America often hear these denials and dismissals.
I agree Yes, racism and white supremacy is a major issue in Colombia. This short documentary with English subtitles, produced by LAPORA, tells the story of anti-Latin American racism in the “post-racial” era, a research project at Cambridge University in England.
As the new VP. It remains to be seen what he and his presidential ally will be able to do for Colombia’s black and aboriginal population, which have long been economically and politically oppressed and oppressed. Most of us have a laid back attitude when it comes to painting a picture about ourselves.
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