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Sun Jan 19, 2020, 08:07 PM

Afro-Colombian women are risking their lives to defend their communities

By Duncan Tucker, Americas Media Manager at Amnesty International
9 January 2020, 11:49 UTC

Danelly Estupiñán will never forget the first threat she received. The text message arrived at 5:35pm on 30 November 2015, saying: “Danelly, your end has come”. Hours later, during a phone call with a friend, a distorted voice appeared on the line, repeating: “We know where you are”.

Since then, Estupiñán has been constantly followed, photographed and had her home broken into, in apparent retaliation for her human rights work defending black communities in Buenaventura, Colombia’s biggest Pacific port.

“I don’t go out anymore. I just move between the office and the house. I have no social life, I have nothing. I only go out to do specific things because wherever I go, they’re there,” she said in June, shortly before fleeing the country upon learning of a plot to kill her.

Having lost fathers, husbands and sons to years of bloodshed, Afro-descendant women like Estupiñán are bravely assuming more active roles in defending their ancestral communities. However, standing up to corporations and criminal organizations who seek to oversee development projects, mineral extraction and drug-trafficking in their territories has put them in the crosshairs.

More:
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/01/afro-colombian-women-risking-lives-defend-communities/

Also, from the article:

Colombia is the world’s deadliest country for human rights defenders, with Frontline Defenders registering at least 126 killings there in 2018. It is also home to 7.8 million internally displaced people, more than any other country, according to a 2018 UN report. Indigenous and campesino leaders comprise many of the victims, but black women are increasingly at risk in the western provinces where Colombia’s Afro-descendent population is concentrated.

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