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In Defense of Ancestral Lands: Afro-Colombian Women Resist US Militarization and the War on Drugs


If you know folks in MA, NY, NJ, CT, or VT, please let them know about this opportunity to meet Nidiria Ruiz Medina from the Naya River Basin in Colombia. See the tour dates below.

To read about the ongoing human rights crisis faced by Afro-descendant communities along the Naya River in southwest Colombia, see


Nidiria Ruiz Medina belongs to the Naya River Basin community council, an Afro-descendent population in the southern area of Colombia’s Pacific region. She is part of an organizational process that contributes to the defense of territory and human rights. Her organizing work is articulated through the national CONPAZ (Communities Building Peace in the Territories) network, which provides tools and fundamental elements for building community. 

Nidiria is an example of how rural women play an essential role in peace-building efforts. Through the AINI “Spring Fountain of Flowers” Women’s Association, women work to rediscover the importance of fighting for participation spaces that allow them to make decisions and advocate for a vision of peace. Nidiria is a woman who defends collective territorial rights and identity through a gender approach. Despite the risks that this victimized population confronts—resisting a complex reality of conflict, exclusion, marginalization and historical state abandonment—Nidiria believes the Colombian Peace Agreement has helped reaffirm the rootedness of the land and spurred dreams of hope. 

Together with the AINI Association and the CONPAZ network, Nidiria and her community have decided to exchange tears for smiles, promoting leadership based on a model of justice, truth, reparations and non-repetition, as ratified by the Victim’s Chapter in the Colombian Peace Agreement. That is why her community continues to struggle for ancestral autonomy and independent education. This includes a Peace University, which emphasizes inclusion and participation, commemorates struggle and conflict resolution, and generates leadership rooted in social and community work, training, and peace-building strategies. 

Nidiria motivates rural women to become visible in the reconstruction and reconciliation of values, and by weaving a social fabric that leads to inclusive social justice, she advocates for rural women to be in positions of transformative power. 

Tour Dates:
Nidiria Ruiz Medina will be touring in the New England and New York/New Jersey regions from October 1 to October 19.

Email if you’re interested in hosting an event in your community with Nidiria!
Speaker's Tour Readings and Videos


Oct 2 - Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Oct 2 - Boston, MA 02215

Oct 3 - Boston, MA 02125

Oct 3- Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Oct 4 - Worcester, MA 01602

Oct 4 - Providence, RI 02912

Oct 4  - Pawtucket, RI 02860

Oct 5 - New London, CT 06320

Oct 5 -  Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Oct 6 - Dorchester, MA 02121

Oct 6 -  Boston, MA 02118

Oct 10 -  Burlington, VT 05401

Oct 10 - Amherst, MA

Oct 11 - Oswego, NY

Oct 11 -  Cortland, NY

Oct 12 - Ithaca, NY 14850

Oct 12 - Ithaca, NY

Oct 13 - Ithaca, NY

Oct 14 - Pittsford, NY

Oct 15 - Pittsford, NY

Oct 16 - New York, NY 10013

Oct 17 - Maplewood, NJ 07040

Oct 17- New York, New York 10016

Oct 18 - New York, NY