Carlos Rosero will report on how the coca fumigation under the aegis of U.S.-funded Plan Colombia is inefficient in meeting its goals and is exacerbating the plight of Afro-Colombians in Nariño Department and the municipality of Buenaventura. He will also discuss the numerous serious concerns that Afro-Colombian grassroots have with regard to the U.S.-Colombian trade agreement currently before Congress.
WASHINGTON OFFICE ON LATIN AMERICA
Promoting Human Rights, Democracy, and Social and Economic Justice in Latin America
Afro-Colombian Leader to Visit Washington, Meet Members of Congress on June 20-25
Press Availability Notice
Who: Carlos Rosero, Afro-Colombian community leader, based in Colombia
Where: Washington Office on Latin America,1630 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 200
When: June 20-25, times flexible
Contacts: Gimena Sanchez-Garzoli, Senior Associate for Colombia, (202) 797-2171ext. 205
Roger Atwood, Communications Director, (202) 797 2171 ext. 211, cell
Background: Carlos Rosero is a prominent leader of the African diaspora community in Colombia. He will be in Washington this week to meet with members of Congress and others to discuss the continued violence and displacement endured by Afro-Colombians communities due to the on-going conflict in Colombia. He will report on how the coca fumigation under the aegis of U.S.-funded Plan Colombia is inefficient in meeting its goals and is exacerbating the plight of Afro-Colombians in Nariño Department and the municipalityBuenaventura. He will also discuss the numerous serious concerns that Afro-Colombian grassroots have with regard to the U.S.-Colombian trade agreement currently before Congress.
The descendants of slaves, Afro-Colombians live mostly on the Pacific coast of Colombia. The territorial rights they were granted under Colombia’s Law 70 of 1993 are under attack. Illegal armed groups have forcibly displaced Afro-Colombians from their territories so that they can secure these communities’ resource rich lands for legal and illegal economic projects. At the same time, heavy aerial spraying of herbicides on coca fields elsewhere in Colombia has forced people into traditionally Afro-Colombian areas and affected the food security of communities in the Pacific region. Afro-Colombians face a whiplash from these forces, creating a human rights and humanitarian crisis little-covered by U.S. media so far. Mr. Rosero’s organization, PCN, represents Afro-Colombian grassroots groups making constructive proposals against the violence that has overtaken these communities.
The visit is organized by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the Association of Internally Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES USA), the Manuel Zapata Olivella Center and TransAfrica Forum.
Mr. Rosero will be available for media interviews June 20-25. WOLA will be happy to provide simultaneous translation for interviews.
Mr. Rosero is a member of the National Coordinating Body of Colombia’s Black Communities Process (PCN), one of the key organizations of the African diaspora in Latin America. He serves as PCN representative to the Strategic Alliance of Afro-Colombians and is an active participant in the Third Worldwide Conference Against Racism. On behalf of PCN and the Strategic Alliance, he is a member of the Afro-Colombian working group of the United Nations.
PCN was created in 1993 to defend the rights of Afro-Colombians in regard to development, identity, political participation, and land. The group is part of the Bi-National Process of Black Community Organizations of Ecuador and Colombia.
PCN seeks a negotiated agreement to the end of Colombia’s internal armed conflict, has participated in numerous campaigns against Plan Colombia and defends the right to self-determination and sovereignty of the Afro-Colombian population.