An Afro-descendant was elected Vice President of Colombia

Curly hair, African clothes and raised fist, Francia Marquez defended the campaign “Those who are nothing, those whose humanity is not recognized, those whose rights are not recognized in this country”.

The environmentalist and feminist, elected on Sunday, in her first address on the evening of victory, was elected to “reconciliation” from the state “In Joy and Peace”. “In the midst of our differences, we can build a nation that moves forward, a nation that thrives”The 40-year-old mother said in an interview with Radio Karakol.

She is not the first woman elected to the position of Vice President as she replaces the conservative Marta Lucia Ramirez (2018-2022) appointed before her. Rodolfo Hernandez, the defeated opponent of Petro, was his colleague, Marlene Castillo, of African descent. With a more flushed complexion and straighter hair, she has always carefully avoided addressing the subject of racism in her speeches.

But with the rise of Francia Márquez and her assertive rhetoric, a fundamental racism has emerged in Colombia where 9.3% of its 50 million people identify as Afro-descendant. Few of them hold positions of power, and even fewer women. Today, the government employs only one woman of African descent and two members of Parliament sit out of the 300 deputies and senators.

Ms. Marquez takes over as Vice President “Politically, symbolically and culturally, it is very important because Colombia is a country where racism is very strong”Analyst Cristina Echeveri told AFP. According to her, Francia Marquez “Oxygen Conventional Politics” and collect “Environmental, Ethnic, Ethnic, Youth and Feminist”.

“peace building”

Born to a poor family in Cauca County, in the southwest of the country, she became a single mother at the age of 16, having to flee her area after receiving death threats, doing housework to earn a living, and having the perseverance to study before doing so. way to politics.

Environmentalist crowned Goldman Prize winner, also known as the Nobel Prize for the environment, Francia Marquez survived an armed attack in 2019. She opposed mining in her home region as armed groups fight drug trafficking and income from illegal gold mining.

“It is time to build peace, a peace that includes social justice”Mrs. Marquis fired again. “We wish to build together a country in peace, a dignified country, a country with opportunities, justice”.

On Sunday evening during the big party at the Auditorium in Bogota to celebrate the victory, Francia Marquez, wearing her usual draperies with African motifs, paid tribute to the “All those who were killed in this country, all those who disappeared, to all the women of Colombia”.

The left-wing program that this duo is implementing aims to make ambitious transformations, notably halting oil exploration in the face of the climate crisis and raising taxes on the rich to boost the functioning of the state.

“I see myself ruling this country from the most forgotten places (…) from the edges”She said, noting that the new president has tasked her with leading the new “Ministry of Equality” that will guarantee the rights of women, youth, ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ residents.

“Nous avons franchi un pas important. peace”launched, proudly announces: “I am the first African-American female Vice President of Colombia”.

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