Black social movements are being systematically targeted in Colombia in the aftermath of the 2016 Peace Accords. I have been informed that on May 4, four gunmen stormed into a building in Santander de Quilichao, in the Northern Cauca region of Colombia, opened fire, and tossed a grenade into a crowd of Afro-Colombian activists and two children. The gathering included leaders from several grassroots Afro-Colombian organizations, and they planned to discuss an upcoming meeting with the Colombian government. The attack occurred in a region of Colombia that I had the opportunity to visit in 2010. Among those targeted yesterday was activist Francia Marquez, winner of the 2018 Goldman Prize, and someone with whom I have worked in solidarity for nearly a decade. Brazen acts of targeted violence against Afro-Colombian activists like these call into question the implementation and legitimacy of Colombia’s 2016 Peace Accord.
Francia is not alone.