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No Choice But to Resist

No Choice But to Resist

Shining a Light on Afro-Colombian Woman Defenders

Afro-Colombians, especially women, face immense discrimination, dispossession from their lands, and human rights abuses. Those who speak out are at risk every day, from armed groups vying for control over their land and from their own government that criminalizes their human rights activism. Together with PCN, MADRE mobilizes support for these courageous human rights defenders and advocates for policies that uphold our shared vision of a just and sustainable world.

In April 2005, paramilitaries tortured and assassinated twelve young people—many of them relatives of social leaders. Dalia's community was particularly targeted. Despite this ongoing danger, she continues to organize.

"Current and past human rights leaders have rooted precedent in defending our communities. I hope that our work inspires younger generations to build on that precedent and advance our fight,” Dalia Mina Valencia, founding member of Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN).

Dalia Mina

Leyla Andrea Arroyo Muñoz has a long history of organizing for Afro-descendant people. She has helped Afro-descendant communities acquire land titles and assisted in ensuring an effective implementation of Law 70—a legislation that provides for Afro-Colombians' collective titling and ownership of their territories. 

Afro-Colombian and Indigenous activists have been disproportionately targeted for their work to better their communities. Even as she receives death threats, Leyla continues to fight for her community. 

 “We do not have any other option but to resist,” Leyla Andrea Arroyo Muñoz, founding member of Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN).

Leyla Andrea Arroyo Muñoz

If for years men have not been able to change policies in Colombia, let's empower women to see if by this means we can move forward.

- Ana Granja Castillo, President of  El Consejo Comunitario del Río Patía Grande, sus brazos y la ensenada de Tumaco (ACAPA) & the Municipal Roundtable on Women in the Francisco Pizarro municipality of Nariño, and a member of Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN)



MADRE thanks photographer Maureen Drennan for her work that helps spotlight Afro-Colombian women leaders.