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Francia Márquez, the first Afro woman to hold the Vice Presidency of Colombia

  • The running mate of leftist Gustavo Petro has become a political phenomenon and a symbol of traditionally marginalized communities

  • Single mother, lawyer , was the victim of threats and an attack that could cost him his life. However, she never stopped betting on peace

Francia Márquez, the first Afro woman to occupy the Vice Presidency of Colombia

The struggle of years of the lawyer and activist Francia Márquezin the name of “the nobodys” and against environmental damage, he took her to become the first Afro-descendant vice president of Colombia. Her figure was far from being decorative during the campaign that consecrated her. to the leftist Gustavo Petro: she was the great catalyst for yearnings and anger accumulated over the years. But it also stood out. in it the spark and originality of it that made it different from the language of the other contenders. She corresponds to a slogan that she had a deep draft among young people and women, whom she called to “live tasty”.

“Let us women to to eradicate the patriarchy of our country, we are going for the rights of the diverse LGBTIQ+ community, we are going for the rights of our mother earth, of the big house. To take care of our big house, to take care of biodiversity, and together we are going to eradicate structural racism,” he said on Sunday night that he will surely not forget.

Francia was born in 1981, on the sidewalk ( village) of Yolombó de Suárez, a town in the troubled department of Cauca (southwest). The meaning of the figure of the “nobodies” is contained in his own biography. He belongs to a community, the Afro-descendant, of which some three million people are part of, who had never had a political representation according to their demographic, economic and cultural weight.

France was forged as a community leader from her status as a single mother . The daughter of a midwife and a mine worker, she served as a nurse. as a domestic worker. At 16, she gave birth to the first of her two children. She graduated as a lawyer at the University of Santiago de Cali she just concluded & gué; adolescence and without stopping working in other people's houses. She never let & oacute; to think about her place of origin: violence, displacement, and ecological disaster had become a common way of naming la de ella á de ella;rez. And that took her to activism and to decisively oppose mining extraction. The face of her, angry, began & oacute; to be watched closely 13 years ago, during the struggles to save the Ovejas River from contamination. As part of her actions, she received & gué; the Goldman Environmental Prize, considered the environmental Nobel prize.

Three years ago she was named one of the 100 most influential women on the planet. International recognition did not shield her completely from threats. Death is there the order of the day in conflict zones. In fact, this year alone, more than 80 leaders have died. In 2019, Márquez was the victim of an attack that could be lethal when she was in a preparation meeting for dialogues between indigenous people. and the government. She attacked her with guns and grenades. “The attack of which we were victims yesterday afternoon, invites us to continue betting on achieving peacein our territories, in the department of Cauca and in our country, it's enough of so much blood spilled”.

Her first message as vice president was heard as a continuation of that claim. That's why he dedicated his electoral victory to the “social leaders who were sadly murdered in this country, to the youth who have been murdered and disappeared, to the women who have been raped and disappeared, all of them I know that from somewhere they are accompanying us at this historic moment for Colombia”. And he added: “We thank them for having paved the way, for having sown the seeds of resistance and hope.”


Márquez's irruption in the strictly political field is a consequence of his own maturity. In the April primary of the left, it obtained more than 700,000 adhesions. Petro did not delay. in inviting her to share the electoral formula. “Many say that I do not have the experience to accompany Gustavo Petro to govern this country and I wonder why their experience did not allow us to live in dignity? “Why have you been subjected to violence for so many years that generated more than eight million victims? Why didn't your experience make all Colombians live in peace?”, he said.

Afro-descendant, environmentalist, lawyer and, to top it off, she uses inclusive language in her speeches. Expressions of rejection from the conservative spectrum were not lacking. The radio chain Caracol wanted me to explain the meaning of her political movement “I am because we are “. The lawyer replied: “It is a life bet that says that I am if you are, that we are if nature is, that philosophy inherited from our elders who were enslaved, but who always bet on building ;n collective”. She having spoken of “majorities and majorities” turned her & gué; the object of virtual ridicule. A minor setback in a life marked by danger and self-improvement.

Teilor Stone
Teilor Stonehttps://thesaxon.org
Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Bobr Times, Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my [email protected] 1-800-268-7116

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