Leaders of Afro-LGBTI organizations from the municipalities of Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Nariño and the Colombian Caribbean explained and denounced the effects and violence Afro-descendants with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities suffered during the armed conflict before representatives of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP). The event that took place on March 12 and […]
Leaders of Afro-LGBTI organizations from the
municipalities of Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Nariño and the Colombian Caribbean
explained and denounced the effects and violence Afro-descendants with diverse sexual
orientations and gender identities suffered during the armed conflict before
representatives of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).
The event that took place on March 12 and 13 is
part of a project led by the International Institute on Race, Equality and
Human Rights (Race and Equality) with the support of the Canadian government. “The
project seeks to make Afro-LGBTI victims of the armed conflict, as well as the
causes and differential impacts that these types of violence have on people
with diverse sexual identities and expressions, more visible,” said Laura
Poveda, lawyer for Race and Equality. In relation to this, Pedro Cortés, Colombian
consultant at Race and Equality, highlighted the importance of this meeting as
a space that strengthens and increases the participation of Afro-LGBTI civil
society organizations before the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice and
Throughout the meeting, which included the
participation of JEP magistrate Heydi Patricia Baldosea Perea, also a member of
both the gender and ethnic commissions of the same institution, the
participants, through a collective dialogue, delved into the violations and
direct effects that Afro-LGBTI groups continue to face in the territories.
Joana Caicedo from the organization Somos
Identidad in the city of Cali, pointed out that LGBTI people, especially from
the most impoverished communities in the city, which are mostly composed of Afro-Colombians,
have faced and continue to face situations of violence by armed actors in the
territory. Armed groups during conflicts use strategies to correct of modify
expressions that they consider “abnormal”, for example, the most common forms
of violence against LGBTI people are forced recruitment and sexual violence.
“LGBTI people are usually forced to hide and
try to act normal so as not to be harassed; now, living in different contexts
as a black person is difficult, so being LGBTI in contexts of violence and
armed conflict further exacerbates the situation,” indicates Caicedo from Somos
Vivian Cuello from Caribe Afirmativo emphasized that
structural racism still persists in all of society, which is why the armed
conflict disproportionately affected Afro-descendant groups. “It is no
coincidence that the armed conflict mostly affected a large part of the
racialized territories. This is due to an imminent absence of the State in
these territories, which allows armed groups to inhabit and take control of the
territories,” she added.
According to Angelo Muñoz of the Afro-Colombian
Foundation Arco Irís in Tumaco, the “objectification” and
“social normalization” of violence against LGBTI people is another one
of the main effects diverse groups suffered in the territories where there is
and has been armed conflict. He also
emphasized the state of violation that represents for the LGBTI groups in
Tumaco, not having judicial or social support when it comes to violence against
“In a territory where there is armed conflict, the black and LGBTI are a vulnerable body in an indifferent territory,” added Muñoz.
Judge Baldosea referred to the 7 cases that have
so far been opened in the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, thanking and
encouraging civil society organizations to present reports that integrate data
that may be related to already open cases in order to approach such
investigations from an intersectional approach.
Additionally, the Magistrate carefully explained the processes and methods used by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and the way in which these are being reviewed.
“We do not have a clear idea or exact data on
how many cases will be opened; to date civil society organizations have
submitted an average of 284 reports and the call is open until March 2021. For
our part, as body that has a clear mission of clarifying the truth, we will
continue working to guarantee a comprehensive process for victims,” said
Likewise, representatives of Afro-LGBTI civil
society recommended decentralizing the processes that are being carried out to
date in the JEP, to approach communities in the territories through less
institutional forms, and thus generate trust and bring the necessary
information in the clearest and most concise way.
Through this project, Race and Equality, with the
support of the Canadian government, seeks to join the initiatives undertaken by
organizations such as Caribe Afirmativo who have already presented documented
cases before the JEP of Afro LGBTI victims of the armed conflict in the region of
Urabá (northwestern Colombia) and the municipality of Tumaco.
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