Erlendy Cuero Bravo, Afro-Colombian Human Rights Activist at Risk

Erlendy Cuero Bravo, Afro-Colombian Human Rights Activist at Risk

Colombia, English
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 19, 2016 | Washington, DC The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights expresses alarm at the lack of protective measures being afforded to Erlendy Cuero Bravo, noted Afro-Colombian human rights defender and Vice-president of the National Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians (Afrodes). Ms. Cuero Bravo, who coordinates Afrodes’ activities in Cali, Colombia, has received repeated death threats since 2008 because of her human rights advocacy and community organizing work. She is the survivor of several assassination attempts. The most recent of these took place on March 24, 2016, which also targeted Ms. Cuero Bravo’s 18-year old son. In this instance, a member of the Buenaventura-based “Tureños” paramilitary group attacked Ms. Cuero Bravo’s son and attempted to shoot him, before he was luckily able to escape.…
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International Day for the Fight against Homophobia and Transphobia

International Day for the Fight against Homophobia and Transphobia

Brazil, Colombia, English
On May 17, the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia is celebrated around the world. Despite progress with legislation in Latin America, including the recently approved marriage equality law approved this past April in Colombia—part of a larger trend of marriage equality rights achieved in other countries within the region—and breakthroughs such as the recognition of gender identity and laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, much remains to be done to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, especially in English-speaking Caribbean countries, where laws continue to criminalize consensual relationships between individuals of the same sex. Today, May 17, the Gay Group of Bahia, Brazil, an organization which monitors violence against LGBTI people (and those who are perceived as such), have…
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CAPREE Meeting: Officials from the US and Colombia Reiterate Importance of Ethnic Groups’ Participation in Peace Negotiations to Achieve a Sustainable Peace

CAPREE Meeting: Officials from the US and Colombia Reiterate Importance of Ethnic Groups’ Participation in Peace Negotiations to Achieve a Sustainable Peace

Colombia, English
Bogota, April 19, 2016 On April 7 and 8 the first plenary session for civil society of the US-Colombia Action Plan on Racial and Ethnic Equality (CAPREE) was held in Cali, Colombia. Pedro L. Cortes-Ruiz, the Institute’s representative in Colombia, participated in the meeting as part of the delegation of civil society organizations from the United States. Nearly 200 indigenous and Afro-Colombian organizations from Colombia participated, as well as representatives from the US Embassy, USAID and officials from Colombia’s Interior Ministry. CAPREE is a joint plan agreed to by both governments in 2010 whose objective is to share experiences and implement programs that help overcome obstacles in order to achieve full inclusion for Afro-descendants and indigenous peoples in both countries. The meeting in Cali was the first meeting since the…
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Latest UN Report Reiterates the Benefits of the Participation of Ethnic Communities in the Peace Process

Latest UN Report Reiterates the Benefits of the Participation of Ethnic Communities in the Peace Process

Colombia, English
Bogota, March 23, 2016. Led by its Colombian Representative, Todd Howland, the Office of the UN High  Commissioner for Human Rights held a press conference to present its 2015 Annual Report. Ayda Quilcue from the Cauca Regional Indigenous Council and Francia Marquez from the Ethnic Commission for Peace and the Black Women’s Mobilization to Care for Life and Ancestral Land in the Cauca Valley were invited to attend the event and offer an appraisal of the human rights situation in their communities. The conditions of the ethnic communities are a central topic of the analysis and recommendations of the report. Even in the general context of a de-escalation of the armed conflict, the systematic violation of these communities’ human rights has continued. Even more worrisome is the report’s conclusions that…
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Colombia’s Ethnic Commission for Peace and the Defense of Territorial Rights Visits Washington, D.C.

Colombia’s Ethnic Commission for Peace and the Defense of Territorial Rights Visits Washington, D.C.

Colombia, English
On March 18th and 19th, representatives of Colombia’s newly formed Ethnic Commission for Peace and the Defense of Territorial Rights visited Washington, D.C. to meet with policymakers, human rights advocates and the media. The activists sought to promote the inclusion of Afro-Colombians and indigenous peoples in both the peace negotiations taking place in Havana, Cuba and the implementation of the forthcoming peace accords. Prior to the advocates’ arrival in Washington, the Ethnic Commission’s formation was officially announced on March 7th, in Bogota, Colombia. It represents the joining of two umbrella organizations, the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) and the National Afro-Colombian Peace Council (CONPA), that together represent hundreds of grassroots groups throughout Colombia. The leaders came together to speak to the public about the peace process and Colombia’s ethnic…
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