Afro-Colombians: The Struggle for Self-determination Amid Geo-economic Wars and Human Rights Violations

The Cabral/Truth Circle Film/Book Discussion on Africa and the African Diaspora 

 Monday, June 25th, 2012, 6:00-8:00pm

Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th Street, NW (14th and V Streets), Washington, DC

“If we are going to forge a 21st century movement for peace and justice, we must first understand the plight of our brethren around the world. The Cabral/Truth Circles are designed to educate and then motivate our community to take action against tyranny, racism, and all forms of war.”

                                                                              --Nicole Lee

                                                                                President, TransAfrica

The Cabral/Truth Circle is a combination of a great film festival and an exciting book club that focuses on the history and political movements of Africa and the African Diaspora. The Circle, named after Amilcar Cabral and Sojourner Truth, focuses on the history and political movements of Africa and the African Diaspora through a film screening and highlighting of a complementary book.  Every other month, TransAfrica shows a short documentary and hosts a discussion linking history and current affairs, and encouraging individual and collective activism.

The Cabral/Truth Circle on June 25th will focus on Plan Colombia and the U.S. supported human rights violations in Colombia as well as the impact of the Free Trade Agreement on communities in the port of Buenaventura.  The event features a discussion with visiting Afro-Colombian organizer Mario Angulo, from the port of Buenaventura, Colombia and the film La Toma by Paola Mendoza:

Panelists include: Mario Angulo, Palenque El Congal Buenaventura, PCN; Ajamu Baraka, Associate Fellow at Institute for Policy Studies and former Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network;  and Charo Mina Rojas,Black Communities Process in Colombia-International Working Group (PCN).

Film: La Toma by Paola Mendoza. La Toma documents the struggle of an Afro-Colombian gold-mining community in southwestern Colombia to remain on its territory. Home to 1,052 families, La Toma was founded by runaway slaves in 1636. Over the centuries, they have developed a culture and history that is tied to this land, carving out environmentally sustainable livelihoods through artisanal gold mining and basic agricultural projects, and grounding their traditions in this ancestral place.

Despite a legal framework that protects the community’s rights to the land, multinational investors and right-wing paramilitaries have threatened, intimidated, and killed members of the community. Thanks to the strong organizational capacity and the community's will, in addition to transnational advocacy efforts that included PCN, WOLA, LAWG, and ACSN, the people of La Toma continue to live in the territory. However, private interests and armed militias continue to threaten La Toma in order to displace them and make way for large-scale mining operations.

The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) poses a threat to the people of La Toma and other communities undergoing similar experiences. According to Colombian and international law, Afro-Colombian and indigenous peoples have the right to free, prior, and informed consultation and consent (FPIC) for any development project or public policy that will affect them; the FTA was not consulted with Afro-Colombian or indigenous peoples. Increased investment in controversial industries as a result of the FTA will undermine Afro-Colombian and indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination and to the land.(Description from Washington Office on Latin America).

For more information: 202.223.1960 ext. 137 or email info@transafrica.org.

The Cabral/Truth Circle is named in honor of Amilcar Cabral and Sojourner Truth. Amilcar Cabral was one of Africa's most successful and thoughtful leaders. He led the anti-colonialism movement in Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau. Sojourner Truth petitioned the government and won back her five-year-old son who had been sold illegally. She spent the rest of her days traveling throughout the country encouraging the debate to end slavery and the creation of a peaceful society.

The venue is Busboys and Poets, one of the most exciting establishments in the Washington area. Busboys and Poets is a restaurant, bookstore and gathering place for people who believe that social justice and peace are attainable goals. Admission is free, but space is limited.We encourage you to have dinner with us and change the world.