WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Living Well While Under Threat: The Status of Afro-Colombians’ Collective Rights

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. EDT Thursday, 15 October 2020

(Photo: Black Communities Process of Colombia)

On August 27, 2020, one of Colombia’s most important laws protecting the rights of Afro-Colombians, Law 70, saw its 27th anniversary. Following Colombia’s new political constitution of 1991, Law 70 recognized the collective and individual rights of Afro-descendants, paving the way for their full recognition and protecting their ancestral collective territories. While this legislation helped some Afro-Colombian communities formalize collective land titles, much of this law has remained on paper rather than brought to reality. In this context, Afro-Colombians fought for many other mechanisms—including Constitutional Court rulings and the Ethnic Chapter of the 2016 peace accord—to reinforce, update, and strengthen the hard-won initial recognitions embedded in Law 70.  

A new report by civil society group the Black Communities Process (Proceso de Comunidades Negras, PCN) entitled Living Well While Under Threat (El vivir sabroso amenazado), found that between January and July 2020, more than 115 incidents took place contrary to these rights. Among these were 46 homicides, 17 femicides, and 9 infanticides for a total of 72 Afro-descendant deaths that took place in Bolívar, Guajira, Barranquilla, Buenaventura, Quibdó, Cauca, Tumaco, and elsewhere. The report documents how abuses against Afro-Colombians continued even amidst a nationwide lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Join us to hear from the authors of the report about the status of Afro-Colombians’ collective rights. The speakers will detail how structural racism plays a role in these abuses and will examine the state’s ineffective response to prevent such abuses and to guarantee justice. The panelists will talk about COVID-19 and its effects on their communities and how ongoing displacement and violence affect women, children, and youths. They will also present recommendations on how this dire situation can be turned around through actions taken by the international community.

Event Details:
Thursday, October 15, 2020
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT


This webinar will be uploaded to WOLA’s YouTube page after the event.




Danelly Estupiñan Valencia
Report coordinator and activist with the Black Communities’ Process’ Palenque el Congal (Buenaventura)

José Manuel Perea
Researcher with a Master’s in Social Development


Commentary by:
Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli
Director for the Andes, WOLA


Consecutive interpretation from Spanish to English will be available.