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Colombians Demand Change

Members of Proceso de Comunidades Negras Gather in Protest holding signs that read "Afro Resistencia"

For months, Colombians have been rising up and taking to the streets to demand change in a nationwide strike. These massive protests were first triggered by opposition to proposed tax reforms. But people were rapidly galvanized to denounce the discrimination, inequality, and poverty they face, the failed promise of the 2016 Peace Agreement — and their government's failure to confront these issues. Security forces have retaliated against these protests with brutal violence, including sexual violence and attacks that disproportionately target Afro-Colombians.

MADRE, our local partner Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN) that organizes in Afro-Colombian communities, and other global organizations sent a letter to the UN Security Council and UN human rights experts calling on them to hold the Colombian government accountable for its militarized response.

MADRE partner Taller De Vida also shared a message with us from the young people they work with: “Why are we in the streets? Why is there an explosion of social upheaval? Why are we raising our voices? We are here for the survival of humanity. We are fighting for the future of Colombia…where we can live with dignity…where human rights are respected…where a new narrative is built that includes Black people, Indigenous Peoples, Mestizos, farmers — everyone. What we want is a commitment to the 2016 Peace Agreement; what we want is a culture of peace."

MADRE stands with our partners now, building on decades of our work in Colombia to build safe, thriving communities and to demand rights and justice for women, youth, and Afro-descendant and Indigenous Peoples.

These are the demands driving these protests. To learn more about our work and about the protests in Colombia, please visit the links below:

June 21, 2021