Europe in the Americas

From the IACHR report on the situation of Afro-Colombian women in the armed conflict in Colombia. IACHR – the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights.

“The IACHR was able to verify that the situation of Afro-Colombian women living on the Pacific coast is particularly precarious and alarming. Both State authorities and non-State sources confirmed that the Afro-Colombian population has been subjected to a history of discrimination, exclusion, invisibility and social disadvantage, both economic and geographic. The armed conflict has worsened this situation, since the armed actors profit from these disadvantages in their struggle to control territories and resources. In the particular case of Afro-Colombian women, their condition as women adds another factor of discrimination and vulnerability to their lives and exposes them to greater abuses by the actors of the conflict:

“We women have been trampled over in our territory and anywhere by the different groups, the legal and illegal armed groups, who kidnap us, kill, rape and humiliate us … leaving as a consequence of these actions the deterioration of the social fabric around us. Therefore, there is no doubt that the armed conflict has harmed black women’s feelings, their ancestral legitimacy, their creativity to form and generate life, their cultural identity and their love for their territory.”

The United Nations Rapporteur, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Mesa de Trabajo Mujer y Conflicto Armado have identified Afro-Colombian women as a particularly vulnerable group to violence and the consequences of the conflict on the civilian population, such as forced displacement.In its last report, the High Commissioner for Human Rights specifically stated that:

The security, particularly of rural, indigenous and Afro-Colombian women and girls and of those that are organized, displaced, confined or are returnees, has deteriorated as a result of the armed conflict and the use of sexual violence and social control by the illegal armed groups.

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