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Documentary Release on Gender Violence and Racism in Colombia's Conflict Context


JM Kirby,

August 27, 2021 — Afro-descendant women advocates in Colombia and their international allies have released the results of a Community Hearing held April 19, 2021, in Tumaco, titled "Development and Racism: Realities and Impacts of Violence Against Black/Afro-descendant Women within Our Diverse Identities." The results of this civil society-led transitional justice event, including testimony from Afro-descendant women throughout Colombia, official findings by international experts, and a documentary, appear on the bilingual website, 

***View the Documentary (English and Spanish subtitles)***

The release comes as advocates commemorate 28 years of Colombia's Law 70 of 1993 which, while yet to be fully implemented, represents a milestone in the struggle for the recognition of the collective rights of Black, Afro-descendant, Raizal and Palenquero people in Colombia. Afro-descendant women testified at the April hearing before their autonomous Afro-descendant authorities, Colombian Government entities, and international human rights experts about the racial and gender-based persecution they have suffered, both prior to and after passage of the 2016 Peace Accord, key provisions of which the government has yet to fully implement. 

Serving as hearing commissioners, international experts Gay McDougall, distinguished academic resident at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice of the Law School of the Fordham University and now member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Madeleine Rees, Secretary General of the International League of Women for Peace and Freedom, and Rosa Celorio, former Senior Attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and current Associate Dean of International and Comparative Legal Studies at George Washington University, released written findings calling on domestic and international institutions to ensure meaningful transitional justice and reparations for Afro-descendant women and their communities. 

***Read the Hearing Commissioners Conclusions***

"Testimony revealed how militarism, state-led mega-development, and racism are strategies of violence and dispossession against Afro-descendant women that profoundly damage our physical, emotional and spiritual integrity as well as our existence as Peoples," said Charo Mina-Rojas of Proceso de Comunidades Negras, (Black Communities' Process). "This analysis, derived from Black women's lived experience, unveils the structural roots of gender violence against us. In the framework of the commemoration of Law 70, we call for any path of reparation and non-repetition to account for this as part of our aspiration to live in peace and without risk of harm."

The April 19 Community Hearing was organized by Afro-descendant women from Black Communities' Process (PCN), the Association of Afro-descendant Women of Northern Cauca (ASOM), the Network of Afro-Latin, Afro-Caribbean and Diaspora Women (REDMAAD), the Association of Community Councils of the North of Cauca (ACONC), the Johana Maturana Foundation, the Kambirí Women's Network, the Caminos de Mujer Corporation and the Valle de Bendiciones Foundation, in partnership with MADRE, an international feminist human rights organization.