Essential Afro-Latino/ Caribbean Current Events

Discussion in 'The Root' started by Poitier, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. Yehuda

    Yehuda Nego Delas

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    China, Suriname vow to deepen cooperation under BRI framework

    Xinhua, September 24, 2018

    China and Suriname agreed to deepen pragmatic cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) during a meeting between Surinamese Vice President Ashwin Adhin and visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday.

    Surinamese Foreign Minister Yldiz Pollack-Beighle and other government ministers attended the meeting. The two sides exchanged views on issues of common concern.

    China attaches importance to the development of ties with Suriname, Wang said during the talks, calling on both sides to deepen pragmatic cooperation on the basis of consolidated mutual political trust in order to achieve a win-win situation.

    He said China appreciates Suriname's support for and participation in the building of the Belt and Road.

    The two sides reached an agreement on BRI cooperation in May this year, which Wang said will bring broader prospects and new opportunities for bilateral cooperation as well as more benefits to the people of Suriname.

    Wang called on both sides to step up alignment of their strategies and deepen cooperation in the fields of trade, agriculture, energy, infrastructure and tourism.

    He also called for increased people-to-people and cultural exchanges, including jointly building a Confucius Institute at the University of Suriname.

    China is willing to continue cooperation on human resources development in order to train more talents needed in Suriname's economic and social development, Wang said, noting that China appreciates Suriname's help with its hunt for fugitives and illicit money, and is willing to strengthen anti-corruption cooperation.

    Wang also praised the 42-year-old China-Suriname relations based on mutual respect, trust and support as a model for South-South cooperation and exchanges between countries of different sizes and cultures.

    He said China appreciates the Surinamese government's adherence to the one-China policy and respect for China's core interests, adding that China will continue to support Suriname's efforts to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests in international affairs.

    Wang also noted that China and Suriname, both as developing countries, should join hands to safeguard multilateralism and international trade rules, as well as the common interests of the two countries and of the developing countries.

    China has been working to deepen ties with the Caribbean countries, and it hopes that Suriname will continue to push China's cooperation with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in efforts to building a community of a shared future for mankind, said Wang.

    Adhin said Wang's visit to Suriname will help further the friendly relations and pragmatic cooperation between their two countries.

    Adhin praised the Suriname-China relations as a partnership enjoying mutual trust and equality, noting Suriname has consistently adhered to the one-China policy.

    Adhin and Surinamese ministers attending the talks regard China as the most important partner in Suriname's development, saying bilateral cooperation provides opportunities and helps promote the growth in various areas.

    They reaffirmed Suriname's commitment to building the Belt and Road, and expressed the hope to expand cooperation in a range of fields including agriculture, energy, infrastructure, investment, technology, culture, tourism, human resources and healthcare.

    They said Suriname attaches great importance to China's role in the world's political and economic affairs, and is willing to closely communicate and coordinate with China to jointly promote global peace and development and achieve a fairer and more reasonable international order.

    Wang arrived here Saturday night for a two-day official visit. He is on a three-nation tour through Sunday to Latin America, which has taken him to the Dominican Republic and Guyana.

    China, Suriname vow to deepen cooperation under BRI framework
     
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  2. loyola llothta

    loyola llothta ☭☭☭

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    China Throws Venezuela’s Oil Industry A $5B Lifeline

    By Irina Slav - Jul 04, 2018, 9:30 AM CDT[​IMG]

    China’s Development Bank has approved a US$5-billion loan for Venezuela’s oil industry, Bloomberg reports, quoting the troubled South American country’s Finance Minister Simon Zerpa.

     
  3. Yehuda

    Yehuda Nego Delas

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    Chief Justice of the Supreme Court met with Afro-descendant representatives

    And expressed the need to develop a protocol of action for this group

    [​IMG]
    Chief Justice of the Supreme Court held a meeting with Afro-descendant representatives

    20:34 | Lima, September 21

    In order to exchange experiences and collect proposals, opinions and demands, Chief Justice Victor Prado Saldarriaga held a meeting with a group of Afro-descendant cultural associations and delegates from different parts of the country.

    In this preparatory meeting — the first of three before the IX International Conference on Intercultural Justice to be held in Piura in October — the magistrate expressed the need to build a protocol of judicial action against the discrimination faced by this population in the Justice Administration System.

    He also considered it essential to institutionalize public policies to guarantee Afro-Peruvian populations access to ordinary justice under equal conditions.

    "Those of us who administer justice must reject all kinds of discrimination", he added.

    Similarly, he considered it appropriate to implement other mechanisms to highlight acts of discrimination, sensitize judges and justice operators to interculturality, Afro-Peruvian culture and discrimination.

    He also noted that the judicial system must ensure that there is no abuse against Afro-Peruvians. "Justice is not philanthropy, it is a right", he said.

    In another moment, Prado Saldarriaga expressed his interest in repairing historical cases of unjust sentences issued by the justice system such as the so-called Monster of Armendáriz (when Jorge Villanueva Torres, an Afro-Peruvian man, was sentenced to death after being falsely accused of raping and murdering a three-year-old boy).

    It should be noted that the next preparatory meetings for the intercultural conference will be held in the cities of Ica and Piura.

    The meeting was attended by Susana Matute Charún, Director of Policies for the Afro-Peruvian Population of the Ministry of Culture; representative of the Francisco Congo National Afro-Peruvian Movemen, as well as Guillermo Muñoz, director of the Human Counseling, Research and Promotion Center. Also Darwing Calligros, of the Despertar Zaña Cultural Association; Florencio Ferreya, of the Tomasita de Acalá Black Movement; Rosa Carrillo, of the NGO Emma Jones; Brenda Castillón, of the Makungu organization, among other leaders of cultural and educational associations.

    Chief Justice of the Supreme Court met with Afro-descendant representatives
     
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  4. Yehuda

    Yehuda Nego Delas

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    Social network for black people wants to give visibility to politicians and entrepreneurs

    September 23 2018

    [​IMG]
    A woman connects to Black & Black, in September 21, 2018, in Rio de Janeiro. AFP / Mauro Pimentel

    Black & Black, a Brazilian social networking service directed towards black people, was launched two months before the elections in order to give visbility to politicians and entrepreneurs and promote initiatives, such as boycotts against racist marketing campaigns.

    The platform, presented as the first of its kind, intends to "connect the demands and narratives of the black population in the world", so that "black people can have the protagonism they deserve", as described in the official website.

    Conceived by social entrepreneur Celso Athayde, CEO of Favela Holding, the network counts with around 100 thousand users, including actor Lázaro Ramos, rapper MV Bill, columnist Flávia Oliveira and comedian Hélio de la Peña.

    According to Athayde, the goal is to reach a million members until the elections in October and 10 million by the end of the year.

    The platform wants to bring together people who tend to consume "black experiences, activities or actions involving ethnicity issues", says Athayde.

    "Black movements, women who discuss black beauty, bailes blacks, African diasporic religions... we have a series of segments within the black segment, but everything is spread out", he adds. "We may have different interests, but there is one thing that unites us: the feeling of being black".

    This need to find a common platform can be explained by the fact that in Brazil, due to centuries of miscegenation, the black movement is historically multiple and diffuse, according to Luana Génot, executive director of the NGO Instituto Identidades do Brasil.

    The situation is different, for example, in the United States, where "legal separation between the races facilitated the emergence of associations that help to unify the black community", she adds.

    Brazil was the last country to abolish slavery in the Americas, and this was not followed by policies for the social integration of black people.

    Affirmative action such as racial quotas in universities arose in recent decades to try to compensate for this historical debt, which allowed the access of black people to mostly white environments and, consequently, the strengthening of Afro-descendant identity.

    Athayde rejects criticism that Black & Black promotes segregation: "We are not separating; we recognize the separation that already exists. We live in a country where there is a black movement and public entities to combat racism, this proves that racial prejudice exists".

    Underrepresentation in Congress

    [​IMG]
    Chamber of Deputies, in a session in August 2, 2017, in Brasília. Only 20% of members of Congress are black in a country where they represent 55% of the population. AFP/Arquivos / EVARISTO SA

    Black & Black's interface is similar to Facebook's, with friends, pages and a feed where users share information of interest to the black community — news, job offers, cultural activities, products and services. It is also a space for politics, promoting the meeting of candidates to state governments and legislative positions — there are close to 600 in the platform — with their public.

    The official launch will be in 2019, but the beta version was released on August 15.

    "We decided to antecipate the release because it was an opportunity for the candidates to create their pages, to ask for votes and to be presented to the people", says Athayde.

    The entrepreneur helped to found the Frente Favela Brasil political party, which today has more than 100 candidates running for positions through other formations.

    Although they are 55% of the population, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, blacks (self-declared preto or pardo citizens) represent only 20% of members of the Chamber of Deputies, and 46% of candidates for the October elections, according to the Superior Electoral Court.

    "Black people are not elected because what allows you to be elected is the financial resources, and they do not have them because they are not the employers. Therefore, they are not a priority in the political parties", says Athayde.

    According to Athayde, this underrepresentation in Congress reflects the lack of affirmative action and policies in favor of the black population.

    He points out that "politics define any rule of this game, and if you only have white men in this sector, obviously they will only think about what matters to them".

    "Arouse fear"

    Athayde emphasizes that the under-estimated consumption potential of the black population is boosted on this platform. Therefore, small businesses or large companies that have specific products for black people can communicate directly with their target audience.

    According to the Locomotiva research institute, black people moved R$ 1,6 trillion in 2017, the equivalent to the 17th largest market in the world.

    Athayde also highlights the potential for mobilization, for example against racist marketing campaigns: "There is no channel today where you can take a permanent stance or propose boycotts against those who commit such slips."

    "Today we not cause fear in anyone. We need to arouse a little bit of fear in people, and I think this platform begins to do that. If black people get together, this game may change".

    The network will be upgraded to a final release in December, when it will also be available in the United States, France and Spain.

    It can be accessed through the website www.blackeblack.com and the app Black&Black.

    Social network for black people wants to give visibility to politicians and entrepreneurs
     
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  5. Yehuda

    Yehuda Nego Delas

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    The Afro Corridor is created in Loíza

    Piñones Integration Corp (Corporación Piñones se Integra, COPI) and Creative Justice Initiative Founder come together to create this cultural movement that will have its own headquarters in front of La Pocita

    Yaritza Rivera Clemente, EL VOCERO | September 27, 2018

    [​IMG]
    Marta Moreno Vega, on the left, presides Creative Justice Initiative Founder. To her right, Maricruz Rivera Clemente, president of Piñones Integration Corp

    Loíza — A cultural project that seeks to empower the community of Piñones, expose them to the world and further strengthen the culture of Loíza while educating about the struggle of Afro-descendants, has begun to be developed through the Afro Corridor initiative, which arises as a result of a collaboration agreement between Piñones Integration Corp (COPI) and Creative Justice Initiative Founder.

    These two organizations, which are a bulwark for the different communities of Loiza, got together to acquire a house that had been repossessed by the bank in the embankment area in front of the famous La Pocita de Piñones beach. The two-story property and more than three rooms will serve as headquarters for this project.

    "The diaspora and the Island are combining to create this project because we on the outside feel just as Puerto Rican as you are here and this is an opportunity to do it, to work and help ourselves together", said the director of Creative Justice Initiative Founder, Marta Moreno Vega, in an interview with El VOCERO.

    She explained that the idea of the project is to connect artists, people who are working with culture and researchers in a venue, a place, that is creative, and begin to research history from a true perspective.

    "We want to speak the truth about history before slavery and the process of how we got to where we are today; because we are battling racism not only from the white man, but from our own mentality because they have educated us so poorly we do have not our own indentity", added Moreno Vega, who said that in mid-October an open house will be held so that people from the community and other organizations can learn more about the initiative.

    Educational center

    On her part, Piñones community leader and founder of Copi, Maricruz Rivera Clemente, explained that the Afro Corridor headquarters will provide a space with books where different communities can be educated on various topics, including Afro-descendants and the history of black men and women who have played key roles in the struggle against racism.

    "Racism here is swept under the rug, so when we talk about racism they say 'you have a complex, that is not how things are and look, my grandmother was black'. All those things... and they want to silence the voices that speak up. We know it is not an easy job, it takes time", she said.

    She added that the Afro Corridor seeks to give more exposure to the communities of Piñones, Tocones, Colobo, Miñi Miñi and Las Carreras, which will play an important role within the initiative, as well as other cultural places in Loíza.

    Great cultural richness

    "This corridor will have its headquarters here, but the hands, the feet and the heart will be moving, for example, to the Ancon area", she said. She mantained that they want to stress that Loíza is not just a place where you visit to "eat alcapurria or empanada", but there is also a cultural and musical history of where artists like Daniel and Samuel Lind, among many other illustrious loiceños, come from.

    The also director of Ballet Folklórico Majestad Negra highlighted that Loíza has a cultural richness that should continue to be strengthened for the benefit of the communities. She argued that "this is not about the enrichment of a few people with the art of the communities and they become rich while the communities remain impoverished. It is about positively impacting communities from their own space. This for us is extremely important".

    She concluded that "we have to strengthen the local economy. We and those who are there (in the United States or other countries) are going to keep investing in the Country, investing in the communities. When we invest directly in the communities, we make transformation and that is what we are proposing".

    The Afro Corridor is created in Loíza
     
  6. Yehuda

    Yehuda Nego Delas

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    Colombia needs a communication law like the one in Ecuador

    By: Juan Carlos Martínez Castro
    October 1 2018

    The Ecuadorian Organic Communication Law implemented on June 2013 equitably distributes the market between 33% for public media, 33% for private media and 34% for community media.

    This law is part of a Latin American trend that began in Argentina and that sooner or later will expand throughout the countries of the region and even the world. Colombia will not be exempt from this change and will inevitably have to face the debate to issue legislation more appropriate to the new times and adjusted to the participatory democracy that is so demanded by citizens.

    With said law, the private business duopoly that has dominated the Colombian radio spectrum for decades will come to an end and the right to express and disseminate thoughts and opinions, to inform and receive truthful and impartial information and to found mass media as enshrined in article 20 of the Colombian Constitution will be guaranteed. Likewise, non-censorship and social responsibility will be guaranteed, as well as the right to rectification under conditions of equity and justice.

    In Colombia, the media market is dominated by two large corporate groups that, consequently, own the only two private television channels with national coverage and most of the radio stations in the country. In addition, for different reasons that are not clear, the long-awaited third channel has not been launched, which should also be added to the fact that the two newspapers with the largest circulation in the country belong to powerful businessmen as well as most opinion magazines.

    Due to the above, it is difficult to believe that freedom of expression exists in Colombia because the media represent a high percentage of the interests of a private duopoly and not those of such a diverse country. It is urgent that this necessary law be discussed in the Congress of the Republic as well as in all sectors of the country in order to approve it to democratize the media and exercise for the first time such a fundamental right for all Colombians.

    Some people still do not understand the danger it represents for democracy that the media are concentrated in so few hands regardless of the sector to which they belong. More than the fourth power, the media have the power to enter the minds of people and influence their behavior where trends are affected ranging from the products they acquire to their political and economic opinion. Its influence is so great that a brand pays millions for a commercial of a few seconds according to the time slot in which it pays because, in turn, it generates much more money in sales.

    This is known to those who are behind the media and therefore they do anything to have them in their power. The problem is everything tends to go far beyond the commercial sphere and directly involves politics, the economy and often puts national security at serious risk. Consequently, some characters have taken advantage of their friendship with the media owners to manipulate public opinion at will, thus committing a clear abuse in the use of the Colombian radio spectrum.

    It should be clear that freedom of expression does not consist of a medium or journalist saying what he feels like in an irresponsible way but that each citizen can freely express their thinking before the world and that right is not being executed 100% in Colombia. In this regard, the former president of Ecuador stated that: "ever since printing press was invented, freedom of the press is the will of the printing press owner". Whether this is the case for every country, the truth is that citizens need more spaces of opinion in the media and more than that, own these spaces.

    A common argument to define freedom of expression is the analogy between the free market and the marketplace of ideas, this consists of making them compete under supposedly equal conditions so that the people are the ones who select the ones that suit them. However, when some ideas have more diffusion than others, there is no equality and the one that is published the most ends up being imposed even if it lacks truth. Therefore, we must ensure that freedom of expression is not a privilege for those who have money but a right of all citizens.

    That is where this transcendental communication law comes in where the market is divided equally among all sectors of society and this way, equality and freedom of expression are secured as fundamental rights of all Colombians. A balanced market where the private sector has 33%, the public sector another 33% and community media the remaining 34% guarantees democracy and therefore would begin to foster the freedom of expression that citizens demand so much.

    As a result, although the private sector could continue to operate normally with its current means, it would have to compete with a third channel and up to 9, 10 or 100... the same would happen with newspapers and magazines. As for broadcasters, they would necessarily have to be equitably redistributed since, for the most part, the frequencies are under the control of the dominant duopoly. For its part, the public sector would have the opportunity to effectively fulfill its social function by creating new national, regional and municipal media. Something very necessary for the development of the country.

    The 34% that would correspond to the community media are, among others: indigenous, Afro-Colombian, religious and LGBT communities, universities, non-governmental organizations, the neighborhoods, cities and all the other sectors of society that until now have not had a voice and therefore have been made invisible to the world due to the current distribution of the market.

    Regarding the ICT sector, the work that has been done by the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications is key. However, simply offering a computer and internet access does not guarantee development, employment, wealth or freedom of expression. This also requires that the different communities and sectors of the country have access to written media, radio and television. An access that does not limit them to be mere spectators or consumers but allows them to interact with the rest of the world.

    This is not about demonizing all Colombian private media, since in the past they played a fundamental role and still continue to. However, common sense tells you that forming private duopolies and controling the entire market, thinking more about corporate profit than its true social function, is totally unacceptable.

    Colombia needs a communication law like the one in Ecuador
     
  7. Yehuda

    Yehuda Nego Delas

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    Afro-Paraguayans and their recognition as an ethnic minority

    [​IMG]

    October 2 2018

    The Ministry of Justice through the General Directorate of Human Rights participated in an inter-institutional meeting to draft a bill that recognizes the Afro-descendant population of Paraguay as an ethnic minority that contributed to the construction of the Nation.

    The draft bill "That recognizes the Afro-descendant Population of Paraguay as an ethnic minority and incorporates the legacy of Afro-descendant Communities in the History, their participation and contributions in the formation of the Nation in various cultural expressions (Art, Philosophy, Knowledge, Customs, Traditions and Values" will be elaborated with the active participation of members of the Kamba Cuá Association.

    The document will also include input from the General Directorate of Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice, the General Directorate for Curriculum of the Ministry of Education and Science, the National Secretariat of Culture and the Kamba Cuá Association.

    [​IMG]
    Afro-Paraguayans are mostly descendants of black settlers brought in as slaves. Photo: Gentileza.

    Since the beginning

    The citizens of the Republic of Paraguay known as Afro-Paraguayans are the ones with origins in black Africa.

    As in the rest of the American continent, Afro-Paraguayans are mostly descendants of the black settlers brought in as slaves to perform heavy work, such as working the land, as well as servitude.

    Historically, the black population in Paraguay was never very large. However, towards the end of the colonial period, the Afro-Paraguayan population hovered around 11% of the total population, with half of them being concentrated in Asunción, the capital of the country.

    Most of them reside in the communities of Kamba Cuá de Fernando de la Mora (Greater Asunción); Kamba Cuá on the outskirts of Paraguarí and the city of Emboscada. The Afro-Paraguayan population currently represents 2% of the total population of the country.

    Afro-Paraguayans and their recognition as an ethnic minority
     
  8. Yehuda

    Yehuda Nego Delas

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    Edition II of the Afro.Futurist Occupation stops in at Salvador, Seabra and Irecê

    By Laísa Gabriela de Sousa — September 20, 2018

    [​IMG]

    With a focus on maker culture, entrepreneurship, creative economy and technology, the Afro.Futurist Ocupation gained a new dimension in this second edition, which starts on October 9. In addition to Salvador, the initiative will be held in Seabra and Irecê, cities located in central Bahia.

    With an extensive lineup of attractions (shows, workshops, lectures, virtual reality laboratories and maker fairs) the Ocupation is establishing itself as a reference in the process of democratization of access to technology and the promotion of innovation culture.

    The festival will have as its common thread the motto "Wakanda is Bahia", with the purpose of celebrating the state's importance in the context of the African diaspora in Latin America, with a reference to the high tech city located in the heart of the African continent, shown in the movie Black Panther.

    [​IMG]
    First edition in 2017. Photo: Internet

    "Despite being a movement dating back to the 1960's, Afrofuturism grew on a worldwide scale earlier this year, thanks to the success of the film and the increase of discussion on black presence in the area of technology", says Paulo Rogério Nunes, co-founder of Social Holding Vale do Dendê who, alongside Instituto Mídia Étnica (IME), organizes the Occupation.

    The organizers were also concerned about the use of technology as a way to promote participatory citizenship, improve the quality of life and solve community problems. This challenge will be faced by the youth who will participate in the three editions of the Afro.Futurist Technology and Innovation Marathon. "In each one of the cities we are going to prioritize issues of the local agenda as the guiding principle for the challenges that will be presented to the youth", explains Luciane Neves, executive director of the IME.

    In Salvador, the event will take place at the Nova Lapa subway station 9–11 October. In Seabra, it will take place at the Bahia State University's Campus (UNEB) between 15–16 October and the Federal Institute of Bahia's Campus (IFBA) in Irecê between 19–20 October.

    Edition II of the Afro.Futurist Occupation stops in at Salvador, Seabra and Irecê
     
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  9. loyola llothta

    loyola llothta ☭☭☭

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    Senator Rubio’s “Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative”: How Scared is the U.S. of China’s “Belt and Road”?

    By Andrew Korybko

     
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  10. loyola llothta

    loyola llothta ☭☭☭

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    Puerto Rico Governor Calls for ‘Elimination’ of Venezuelan Government, Offers to Host ‘Transition’ Logistics


    Hypothetical post-Maduro planning has been discussed “at many levels”, Governor Rossello claimed. His comments follow Trump’s endorsement of a military coup d’état in Venezuela.

    Puerto Rico’s governor joined regional voices backing the overthrow of the Venezuelan government Tuesday, following the visit of the fugitive ex-Mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, to the US protectorate.





     
  11. Yehuda

    Yehuda Nego Delas

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    Ain't that a bytch :aicmon: only commission they need to establish is for the reconstruction of their own island after Hurricane Maria.
     
  12. Diasporan Royalty

    Diasporan Royalty Wholesome Negro Staff Member Poster of the Year

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    Puerto Rico will always will be WS's bottom bytch.:yeshrug:
     
  13. Yehuda

    Yehuda Nego Delas

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    I doubt these islands will even exist in the future anyway so they won't have to worry about that.
     
  14. Diasporan Royalty

    Diasporan Royalty Wholesome Negro Staff Member Poster of the Year

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    Yikes....
     
  15. Yehuda

    Yehuda Nego Delas

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    "Mining contamination is genocide"

    ANTONIO CERRILLO, BARCELONA | 10/02/2018 00:57 | Updated 10/03/2018 14:35

    • Francia Marquéz, Goldman Environmental Prize winner, leads the mobilization of Colombian Afro-descendant communities that reject extractivism

    [​IMG]
    Francia Márquez, photographed yesterday in Barcelona after speaking at the Union of Journalists of Catalonia (Xavier Cervera)

    The woman speaking is Francia Márquez, 36, the woman who has put illegal mining in Colombia in check, and it is as if she was a character in Open Veins of Latin America, by Eduardo Galeano. This young Afro-Colombian woman is the winner of the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize, a prestigious awards that recognizes environmental activists. In a meeting with journalists, she denounced the harassment faced by communites in Southwestern Colombia that resist mining pressure. We summarized her words.

    What is happening with gold mining in Colombia?

    Since 2008, mining has advanced on a large scale. Mining rights have been granted in our territory, which has caused communities such as La Toma, my community, to be at risk of forced displacement due to the granting of these mining titles.

    And what have you done?

    We asked for administrative protection to avoid displacement in 2009. We have organized to avoid being displaced, but we have had an exaggerated presence of armed groups in the Cauca Department, inhabited by indigenous people and Afro-descendants. The armed conflict has affected us tremendously. This is happening not only in Cauca, but throughout the Pacific region.

    How did the conflict begin?

    The idea that Colombia is a country for mining has been promoted for some time; this has created a socio-environmental conflict. Illegal mining has shot up. In 2014, we marched to Bogotá to denouce the illegal mining that has reached our territory; but nobody had stopped the backhoes. At that time, there were 2,000 excavators in our department working in mining.

    What are the environmental consequences this has caused?

    Mercury contaminates the water people drink. The population is consuming water that has between 50 and 1,000 mercury particles per million, and this is a genocide. This is the department where most of the river sources in the country are located in. 80 rivers in our country are poisoned with high levels of mercury. There has been a very strong movement in favor of the defense of the land and the environment and to claim basic rights in a very forgotten region.

    How has this conflict influenced your community?

    The community is threatened by water pollution and by forced displacement caused by armed conflicts due to territorial disputes over resources typical of ecosystems shared by us who live in these areas. In these areas, the presence of the State does not arrive with enough force for the inhabitants of the most remote regions, where forced displacement is produced by this conflict.

    You were the leader of this mobilization...

    The women of Northern Cauca mobilized so we could highlight the social and environmental conflicts of mining. Many people were dying in the mines, buried by landslides. Furthermore, prostitution was being promoted around the mines, sometimes involving minors. So we decided to go out in defense of our lives and our territory. After a month we arrived in Bogotá. We entered the Ministry of the Interior, they told us we were a threat to national security. We told them that we pay taxes and that we want to be taken care of.

    What is happening now?

    There is a huge resistence in the communities. But the conflicts have resulted in the mass murder of leaders in recent years. Communities are stigmatized by being linked to guerrillas, so people end up being killed; this is how they justify murder.

    Does the law recognize the rights of your community?

    Our ancestors were brought under the condition of slaves in 1636. But we suffer a structural racism. The Constitution recognizes that this is a country with an ethnic and cultural diversity; but the law of 1993 (which recognizes the Afro-Colombian community) has not been fully implemented. Nevertheless, the Court has recognized our right to be consulted beforehand; for that reason, it ordered to suspend several mining titles that had been delivered to multinational companies.

    And what does the Government say?

    There are international trade agreements and, when mining titles are suspended, companies leave the country. But they are agreements made without consulting the people. That is a threat to us. They want to suspend the fundamental right to prior consultation.

    We are accused of opposing development. We want to live where we have always lived. We think about living well and preserving the environment for the country's future generations.

    Can you move safely, do you fear for your life?

    I have a security scheme of two people. I am a mother and the head of the family, I have two children and it has not been easy for my family to take part in this struggle. I had to move to the city three years ago and, although I have returned on occasion, I cannot continue to live there. I am an Afro-Colombian woman and that means I have to fight. But all of this started since my ancestors were enslaved. I would like for the next generation to enjoy life and not have to fight.

    "Mining contamination is genocide"
     
    frush11 dapped this.

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