Human Rights Campaign

About Afro-Colombian Human Rights Defenders Campaign

PCN’s Afro-Colombian Human Rights Defenders Campaign (ACHRD Campaign) aims to protect the rights and lives of Afro-descendant communities and human rights defenders, support their work, promote the protection of their rights and build accountability through effective processes of monitoring, education, and sustained advocacy.

ACHR Campaign Components

- Afro-Colombian Women Human Rights Defenders Project

- Campaign “Otro Pazifico Posible” (Another Pacific Possible)

- “Free Felix”Campaign

About ACWHRD Project

The Afro-Colombian Women Human Rights Defenders Project (ACWHRD Project) is a women and people’s centered initiative leaded by Afro-Colombian women organizations members of the Black Communities’ Process in Colombia, from the Caribbean coast, Buenaventura, Tumaco and Norte del Cauca regions, directed to prevent human rights violations against Afro-Colombian women and girls, and protect Afro-descendant women human rights defenders. The Project is a component of the Afro-Colombian Human Rights Campaign.

ACWHRD project defer to three principles: 1) It is Black women and people’s centered. It is developed by and with urban and rural grassroost Black women. 2) Violence against Afro-Colombian women is identified, documented, analyzed and systematized under Afro-descendants’collective human rights framework and the intersectionalities of race, gender and class approach. 3) It is culturally pertinent, so it responds to the particularities and cultural differences among Afro-descendant women in urban and rural areas.

The project aims to:

1. Enhance the capacity in Black women, their communities and organizations for documentation, denounce, self-protection and access to justice, through training, networking and partnership with other human rights groups at national and international levels, particularly those mainly comprise by women.

2. Develop an effective system of monitoring by producing accurate and timely useful information on human rights violations against Afro-Colombian women and girls, systematic production of briefings and reports and educational print and media materials, to be use for education, advocacy, prevention and mobilization for the protection of those women and girls, and their rights.

3. Build leverage and accountability by organizing and coordinating a broad based advocacy and public education process with civil society, governments and the relevant UN and the Inter American Commission on Human Rights bodies.

4. Strengthen and/or recovering autonomous mechanisms of protection, self-protection and prevention culturally and gender appropriated.

5. Develop a human rights defenders network at the community level.

There is an urgent need to educate victims on their rights; to train Afro-descendant women to document and systematize information on cases of violence and human rights violations and effective ways to expose those violations and access to justice, so fear, silence and impunity are defeated and there is accountability.

The Afro-Colombian Women Human Rights Defenders Project (ACWHRD Project) aims to attend this need.

Campaign “Otro Pazifico Posible”

A scholars and intellectuals initiative developed in partnership with PCN, to bring critical attention to the factors that are targeting de resources and life in the Colombian Pacific Coast Territory-Region. The campaign aims to articulate a special and integral strategy capable to stop the actual tendencies to destroy the cultural and biological diversity of one of the most biologically diverse areas in the planet, and return to the Territory-Region and to the country the sense that another development is possible.

Interrelated fronts and actions

Ecologic: to diminish deforestation and lost of biodiversity of the mangrove and tropical forest and restore the eco-systemic integrity of the territory Region. This includes the right of the communities to development ecologically and culturally relevant and sustainable.

Cultural: To guarantee the conditions for the exercise of identity and the cultural practices of indigenous and black communities.

Social: To ensure respect of the rights of the communities, including their right to their urban and rural territories.

Political: For the protection of the ethno-territorial organizations, the integrity of their leaders’ life and to strengthen their own forms of governability.

“Free Felix” Campaign

On June 8, 2012, Felix Manuel Banguero, a grasstoots community leader and member of the Black Communities’ Process in Colombia was arrested under accusations of rebellion and collaboration with the guerrilla group FARC. His arrest was part of a massive operation where 27 indigenous and Afro-descendant leaders and members of the local government of the municipality of Guachene in the Northern Cauca were also arrested, including two well known indigenous leaders who have protective measures from the Inter American Commission on Human Rights due to paramilitaries’ death threats. PCN itself has IACHR’ protective measures.

PCN sees Felix arrest as an act of criminalization of the work of community leaders and human rights defenders by the president Juan Manuel Santos’ administration to demobilize and divert human rights defenders and community organizers and leaders from their active defense against his legislative and development “locomotoras”, by turning their human rights work and the social protest into criminal activities and making them the subject of repression. This situation is particularly concerning when the US Department of State issued a lengthy but accommodated report accrediting human rights improvements in Colombia and President Obama exalted Santos “success” in protecting human rights, during his visit to Colombia last April 2012.

PCN has lunch a campaign calling to free Felix and to stop political persecution of Afro-descendant human rights defenders in Colombia. Sign the petition to free Felix