The clear and intentionality in the processes of violence carried out upon African/a peoples as they are constituted around the world and its symmetry in form and function upon people who are categorized as native in the Americas is not without precedent.
European modernity is responding to its disintegration and has been for over the past 500 years. A process that has its origins in the formation of the entity known as Europe, as it began to organize the loosely tied collection of tribes into nations all built upon continuities in a worldview that propel the interdependent logics that animates its systems, structures, and institutions: separation, intolerance, imperialism, colonialism, racialism, materialization, objectification, othering…dehumanizing, redefining human.
But what must not be lost in this fact, its disintegration—the disintegration of a limited and flawed view of what it means to be human as promoted through the praxis of European modernity—is that at various times-specifically when people are most organized, this disintegration has been sped up by the forms of resistance that develop not simply as a reaction to the forces of violence that are used to maintain positions of authority [or limited notions of power], but are in fact responses birthed from deep ancestral duties and historical responsibilities toward humanity, nature and universe, that African/a people have demonstrated in thought and action across time and space.
Of all the places we can look in the African/a world to see the conflict between the continued exertion and last gasps of legitimacy of a particularly limited understanding of what it means to be human and the ancestral and historical duty and responsibility to resist it, we look to Colombia. A battlefront, in all manifestations of the theoretical and practical application of the concept, between an imperial worldview and the continued resistance to the logics of this worldview.
What we will hear next is a wide-ranging conversation that expands on the premise above, paying attention to the current state of Afro Colombian resistance.
AWNP’s Mwiza Munthali recently caught up with Charo Mina-Rojas and Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli where they explored the continuation of violence through the militarization of the police; the continued attacks on and killings of human rights defenders in indigenous and Afro-descendant communities; the historic role of the U.S. in arming the Colombian army; and much more.
Charo Mina-Rojas is an Afro-Colombian human rights defender with more than two decades of experience in activism in national and international arenas. As the National Coordinator of Advocacy and Outreach for the Black Communities Process (PCN - Proceso de Communidades Negras) and a member of the Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network, she works to empower Afro-Colombian women by educating them on their rights, increasing their access to justice and collecting accurate data on violence against Afro-Colombian women. Charo participated in Colombia’s peace negotiations and has delivered talks and lectures across the world. Charo has addressed the United Nations Security Council on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security and is a member of the Black Alliance for Peace.
Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli is the leading Colombia human rights advocate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). Ms. Sánchez is an expert on peace and illegal armed groups, internally displaced persons, human rights and ethnic minority rights.
Our show was produced today in solidarity with the native/indigenous, African, and Afro-descended communities at Standing Rock; Venezuela; Cooperation Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi; Brazil; the Avalon Village in Detroit; Colombia; Kenya; Palestine; South Africa; Ghana; Ayiti; and other places who are fighting for the protection of our land for the benefit of all people.
Listen intently. Think critically. Act accordingly.
- News & Politics