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Push for a Progressive US-Colombia Policy

Not long ago, I shared the news about our launch of the Feminist Foreign Policy Jumpstart. Already, we’re off and running!

Last week, I traveled to Washington, DC with one of our partners Charo Mina-Rojas from Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN), a grassroots Afro-Colombian peace and justice organization.

The message that we shared with Members of Congress was simple: lasting peace in Colombia depends on women, especially Afro-Colombian and Indigenous women. We urged US policymakers to turn away from years of failed policies — rooted in militarism and the destructive “war on drugs” — and towards policies that uphold peace and gender justice.

With your support, MADRE and our partners at PCN work to create lasting peace for marginalized communities. Read below to see updates about this work.

In solidarity,

Yifat Susskind Signature

Yifat Susskind

Executive Director


P.S. It’s been nearly a year since two activists with PCN — Sara Quiñonez and Tulia Maris Valencia — were wrongly imprisoned in retaliation for their activism. You can help raise the call for justice: scroll down to find out more.

Feminist Foreign Policy Jumpstart:

Progress for Afro-Colombian Women’s Demands for Peace

Charo Mina-Rojas face forward to the camera with hands at her sides

“There is a war on women today in Colombia.” -Charo Mina-Rojas (c) Maureen Drennan

In 2016, the Colombian government and the rebel group known as the FARC signed a landmark peace agreement meant to end decades of war. Afro-Colombian women’s rights advocates were at the forefront of peace movements that led to the signing of this accord.

Yet, despite the signing of the Peace Accord, Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities continue to face violence, and women and girls face heightened threats. Many have survived gender violence in war, including sexual violence, and they deserve justice. What’s more, they’ve spent years sustaining their communities and know best how to meet pressing local needs.

That’s why we knew we had to bring that perspective to inform progressive US policymaking. Charo led a briefing in Congress and met with representatives to spotlight the crises faced by Afro-Colombian women and human rights defenders and the need for women’s leadership in implementing the Peace Accord.

We also spoke about the importance of documenting the impact of war on women and girls to promote justice, accountability and healing, and the need to abandon failed US policies, from the militarism of “Plan Colombia” to the “war on drugs.”

Learn more about what progressive US-Colombia policy should look like.

Celebrating Our Partner

Charo Mina-Rojas was recently nominated for a Human Rights Leader Award called Faces for Equality, honoring her work with PCN for peace. Congratulations to Charo and to the other nominees!

Free Sara and Tulia Maris

It’s been nearly a year since Sara Quiñonez and Tulia Maris Valencia were arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up charges. Click here to read an article by our Director of Advocacy, J.M. Kirby on threats against Afro-Colombian women human rights defenders — and what has happened to our partners Sara and Tulia Maris.

“In Colombia, all human rights defenders are considered criminals,” -Danelly Estupiñan Valencia, a feminist activist who faces threats for her advocacy for Afro-descendant communities’ rights

Image of a PCN member holding up a sign advocating for the release of Sara and Tulia

PCN member stands in solidarity with Sara and Tulia Maris. (c) Maureen Drennan

Action Alert

We need to keep a spotlight on Sara and Tulia Maris. You can help by spreading the word on social media. Click below to share on Twitter or copy and paste to share on Facebook.

We stand with Proceso de Comunidades Negras and we demand the Colombian government #FreeSaraAndTuliaMaris! Afro-Colombian women human rights defenders must be protected, not unjustly imprisoned. #SarayTuliaLibres! [CLICK TO TWEET]

Estamos con Proceso de Comunidades Negras y exigimos al gobierno colombiano que #LiberenASaraYTuliaMaris! Las mujeres afrocolombianas defensoras de los derechos humanos deben ser protegidas y no encarceladas injustamente. #SarayTuliaLibres! [HAZ CLIC PARA COMPARTIR]

We cannot ignore the targeting and unjust imprisonment of Afro-Colombian women human rights defenders. It has been a year since Sara and Tulia were jailed for their activism. With Proceso de Comunidades Negras and MADRE we demand the Colombian government #FreeSaraAndTuliaMaris! [CLICK TO TWEET]

No podemos ignorar los ataques y el encarcelamiento injusto de las mujeres afrocolombianas defensoras de los derechos humanos. Ha pasado un año desde que Sara y Tulia fueron encarceladas injustamente por su activismo. Proceso de Comunidades Negras y MADRE exigimos al gobierno colombiano que #LiberenASaraYTuliaMaris! [HAZ CLIC PARA COMPARTIR]

March 25, 2019  / Colombia / Building a Just Peace