Africa Now July 16, 2014 Perceptions of and Effects on Afro-Colombians of the Peace Talks

Marino Cordoba

Marino Cordoba

Topic and Guest: Perceptions of and Effects on Afro-Colombians of the Peace Talks Between FARC and the Colombian Government.  Yesterday (July 15) talks that began in Havana, Cuba on November 19, 2012 between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC) and the Colombian government to end the 50-year conflict resumed.  This was the first time the two sides met after the re-election of President Juan Manuel Santos in June.  But military operations against the FARC continue.  The peace talks will now focus on the participation of victims in the process; a joint communiqué issued by the parties stated.  The conflict has disproportionally affected Afro-Colombian and the indigenous communities with millions displaced from their lands and hundreds of thousands dead.  Even as the peace process continues, Afro-Colombian and the indigenous communities’ plight remains the same.  Today Africa Now! continues to focus on what the peace process actually means for Afro-Colombians. 

Joining Africa Now! to discuss this issue is Mr. Marino Córdoba, President of the National Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES).  In 1996, Marino Córdoba, well-known community advocate and national Afro-Colombian leader, was forcibly displaced from his home as a result of Operación Génesis.  He has worked for numerous of years as a human rights activist, with special emphasis on advancing the rights of Afro-descendants in Colombia.  In 1999, he founded and became the first President of the National Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES), an organization that seeks to uphold the rights of Afro-Colombian internally displaced persons (IDPs) and to exercise their civil, political, and democratic rights.  He has traveled extensively as a representative of the displaced communities, receiving many peace awards and invitations to speak in various countries worldwide.  After five assassination attempts and an unheeded Organization of American States (OAS) request for the Colombian government to guarantee the protection of Mr. Córdoba´s and his family´s life and livelihood, he fled to the United States with the help of U.S. Representative John Conyers.  Returning to Colombia in 2012, Mr. Córdoba was elected AFRODES President managing a 90,000-person staff working in 96 different IDP organizations.

Originally broadcast on WPFW 89.3FM, Washington, DC.  Tune into Africa Now! live on WPFW 89.3 FM in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area or visit www.wpfwfm.org on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00PM (Eastern).