Tag Archives: Afro-Colombian

Colombian President Takes Note of Disparities for Afro-Colombians

Image of Colombian minister of Defense Juan Ma...

Juan Manuel Santos Image via Wikipedia

According to an article on ColombiaReports.com, Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos announced the creation of a bill that will support the fair treatment of Afro-Colombians. The Law of Equal Opportunities for Afro-Colombian Peoples will present the bill to congress on July 20, 2011. July 20th marks Colombia’s Independence Day and the beginning of a new parliamentary year. The government first made steps to criminalize racism in November of 2010.  Individuals convicted of racism would have to spend up to six months in jail or pay a fine of $4,000.

Many Afro-Colombians live in poverty and don’t have access to proper education. The situation in Colombia is reminiscent of a 1950s America. Santos feels that it is Colombia’s duty to right the wrongs of the past. Santos has also created a program entitled, “The Presidential Program for the Integral Development of Black Communities.” The program will be dedicated to finding resolutions to help mediate the problems facing Afro-Colombians.

For more information about this topic visit http://ColombiaReports.com.

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“This is My Territory”: The Afro-Colombian Experience

By The Phelps Stokes Team

This is My Territory is an Afro-Colombian group consisting of 27 members.  It is a group of young people who once struggled  with  hunger, violence, homelessness, but they have all come together to create music.  They believe that music is an apt medium to spread their message and the central message is that they are fighting for their land.  With no place to call home, many young adults live like nomads in Colombia.

The band was created last December at an urban music festival.  The event was created to allow youths the opportunity to speak out against the violence in Buenaventura.  Buenaventura acts as a haven for those displaced by violence between illegal armed groups.  There are about 75,500 displaced Colombians living in Buenaventura.

The family structure in Colombia has been affected as a result of the violence. One of the group members was displaced in 2006, he expressed that it was easier to leave his home than to fight off the rebels.  The displaced youths have had a limited education and struggle on a daily basis. Never admitting defeat, the young people are rallying to work in the building of homes and public projects to further establish a community.

For more information about This is My Territory, visit www.trust.org.

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Filed under Buenaventura, Colombia, Urban Music, Violence, Youth

International Leaders Support the Launch of The First World Summit of Afrodescendants

Latin America is the area south of the Rio Gra...

Image via Wikipedia

By Phelps Stokes Team

2011 is the year of the Afrodescendants. In celebration of this occasion, there will be a summit focusing on the issues surrounding Afrodescendants around the world. The summit is scheduled to take place August 18-21, 2011 in the city of La Ceiba, Honduras. The First World Summit of Afrodescendants announced its launch May 26, 2011 at the Pan American Health Organization building in downtown Washington, D.C.

The event was led by Dr. Marijke Velzeboer from the Pan American Health Organization. “We are committed to equality in health and health for all; and it is really a privilege to be supporting this summit,” remarked Dr. Marijke Velzeboer. Dr. Santiago Cantón, Executive Secretary of the Inter American Commission of Human Rights of the OAS; Dr. Jorge R. Hernández, Ambassabor of Honduras to the United States; Mr. Jim Coffin, Acting Vice-President of Phelps Stokes; were just a few of the people asked to speak at the launch. There were also performances by Vicky Leyva and Efraín Martínez.

Panelists from Launch of First World Summit of Afrodescents

The President and Executive Secretary of the summit, Mr. Celeo Álvarez, wants to have tangible results from the summit. He hopes the summit will result in the creation of a recognized body for Afrodescendants in the United Nations. In addition, he’d like to create a fund for Afrodescendants in Honduras. It is important that this summit set a chain reaction that will be felt throughout the world. It isn’t enough to just recognize how marginalized Afrodescendants are treated throughout the world, but it is time to be proactive. The summit will be about creating solutions to help Afrodescendants all over the world.

When asked about the importance of the First World Summit of Afrodescendants, Dr. Santiago Cantón commented on the historic oppression of Afrodescendants. He added that it is important for everyone to work together to solve the issues that face Afrodescendants. Analyzing the gaps between Afrodescendants and other ethnic groups around the world is one of the principle goals of the summit. Honduras’ Ambassador to the U.S., Dr. Jorge R. Hernández, mentioned that Honduras has several Afro-Latinos working in the government, ensuring that Afro-Latino have representation in the government. The Honduran government has set in place quotas that guarantee Afrodescendants a place to work. Many attendees echoed the words of Colombia’s Vice President, Angeliono Garzon, that there should be a certain percentage of government officials that are Afrodescendant and Colombia’s Vice President made this statement in a press release addressing Afrodescendants in Colombia.

Afro-Peruvian singer, Vicky Leyva is excited about the summit. She expressed her happiness to see progress occurring in the world, as it relates to Afrodescendants. The summit’s website states, “The main purpose of this Summit is to harness the unique opportunity presented by the proclamation of the “2011 International Year of African Descent” for a critical analysis, assess the conditions of Afro-descendant populations, the achievements under the implementation of international treaties, and not least, an analysis of the social status of Afro-descendant movement.”

For Registration and additional Information, visit the official World Summit of African Descendants (Cumbre Mundial de Afrodescendientes) website: http://cumbremundialafro.org.

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