La guayabita: Why Afro-Colombians Oppose the Colombia FTA: "Marino Cordoba, founder of the Association of Internally Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES), submitted this post as a guest blogger for The Hill.
The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement is considered a non-starter in the U.S. Congress because the country is the world’s deadliest for union activists. Less known, but equally disturbing is the systematic violence now confronting Afro-Colombians.
African descendants comprise 26% of Colombia’s population. As with other African descendants, we face racial discrimination which results in economic hardships far worse than those experienced by the average Colombian. However in Colombia, a vibrant 1980s civil rights movement won full recognition of our cultural rights and collective ownership and community control of our territories and natural resources. The 1991 Colombian Constitution and the landmark Law 70 explicitly enshrine these rights and recognize official democratic Afro-Colombian governance structures, similar to those of your Indian tribes."