Nearly a week since the start of the Afro-Colombian Women’s March for Life and Territory, the women arrived in Bogota today (see photos here). The women and youth that organized the march have met thousands of people along their journey to the Colombian capital. From Santander de Quilichao to Bogota, each successive town welcomed the black women and youth from Northern Cauca with material and emotional solidarity. Many of these towns are engaged in their own struggles to assert their rights in the face of multinational and national economic and political interests that threaten to displace them from their lands by destroying their livelihoods and environment. In Bogota, the women will meet with the Colombian Constitutional Court and various government institutions. They plan to remain in continuous protest in Bogotá until their demands for the removal of the illegal mining equipment from their territories are met.
March organizers are asking for donations to help meet the cost of the mobilization, please donate whatever you can.
Upon arrival in Cajamarca on November 22, local residents and members of the Youth Socio-Environmental Collective of Cajamarca met with the marchers. The Collective is also struggling against the collusion between the Colombian government and South African mining giant Anglo-Gold Ashanti, who intends to build one of the largest open-air mining projects in Latin America in Cajamarca. Within an hour of their arrival, military and police units approached the youth from La Toma that make up their security detail called “The Maroon Guard” (Guardia Cimarrona). But instead of reassuring them of their intent to collaborate, the police went on to harass the youth, referring to them as “niches” and expressing concern about “strange and special groups” arriving in Cajamarca to “mess with things”. Despite received prior information about the details of the March from the organizers and their supporters in Cajamarca, the police and military went on to stop and frisk a number of youth and their supporters. This was particularly concerning given the recent murder of one of the members of the Cajamarcan Socio-Environmental Youth Collective.
For updates on Black Women’s March for Life and Territory: https://afrocolombian.org/