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Afro-Descendant & Indigenous: News & Updates
January 22, 2019
Maya communities bore the brunt of almost four decades of a civil war that ended in 1996, leaving over 200,000 casualties, the majority indigenous Guatemalans, according to the United Nations. Now the mostly Maya organizations and many human rights groups worry that the violence is making a comeback: In just the last year, 26 members of mostly indigenous campesino organizations have been killed. "Guatemala is on the verge of a major human rights catastrophe," says Jo-Marie Burt, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America.
January 11, 2019
Recent attack on indigenous leader Alejandro Pascal Pai and his wife. Alejandro Pascal Pai was recently elected Awá governor of the Pingullo Sardinero community in Barbacoas municipality, Nariño Department.
January 10, 2019
Long one of the country’s leading coca producers, Putumayo has advanced further with substitution—both in acres eradicated and participating families—than any other department. But while the program was supposed to create new opportunities for sustainable development, it has also destabilized an already precarious “post-conflict” transition, exposing the department’s most vulnerable communities to new risks and perils.
January 9, 2019
The Red de Mujeres del Caribe roots its peacebuilding efforts in what it calls the “built knowledge” of Caribbean communities, not in policies written at a desk in Bogotá or Havana or Oslo. In summits and workshops, the network’s organizers emphasize the authority of local women, acknowledging them as uniquely capable of understanding the current political moment. Their writings theorize the importance of “senti-pensar” (“feeling-thinking,” a decolonial feminist term referring to the validity of lived experience and affect as a source of knowledge production) in peacebuilding and conflict transformation, in contrast to what a 2017 statement by several Caribbean women’s and LGBTI organizations calls the “modern/colonial” model of “knowledge production and social classification that exploits the bodies-lives of women and other subaltern groups.”
December 25, 2018
Assassinations of Awa indigenous leaders Hector Ramiro García and his son, Arturo García, on December 2 in Ricaurte, Cundinamarca Department.
December 24, 2018
Increasing harassment of members of the indigenous association Central Campesina Ch’ortí Nuevo Día (CCCND) involved in environmental defense, including surveillance of CCCND Coordinator Norma Sánchez, threats to member Ubaldino García, and the murder of member Elizandro Pérez.
December 21, 2018
Recent threats to Enrique Cabezas, a leader of the collective of Afro-descendent territories in Curvaradó (Chocó Department, western Colombia), because of his work defending their ancestral territory and the right of the communities to not be involved in the armed conflict.
December 6, 2018
murder of seven-year-old Jakelin Ameí Rosmery Caal Maquin while in Border Patrol custody
November 24, 2018
killing of Noel Castillo Aguilar, age 44, a member of the Committee for Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI), in the community of Barra de la Cruz in the municipality of Santiago Astata, Oaxaca Department.