WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Palenques: A Legacy of Afro-Colombian Resistance

Tuesday, 16 May 2017
1666 Connecticut Ave N.W. Suite 400, Washington D.C.

AP Photo/Fernando Llano

Palenques: A Legacy of Afro-Colombian Resistance

Understanding Palenque Resistance in a Post-Conflict Context


Miguel Angel Obezo Miranda
Economist and Palenque Expert

 Moderated By: 

Gimena Sanchez-Garzoli
Senior Associate for the Andes, WOLA

 Tuesday, May 16, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
1666 Connecticut Ave N.W., Suite 400
Washington D.C. 20009

This event will be held in Spanish with simultaneous translation available.
A livestream will be available at www.wola.org.

Numerous palenques, or free towns for escaped slaves, gradually emerged at different moments and in different regions of Colombia in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. One of the most important and influential of these is Palenque de San Basilio, which was first recognized in 1713 and designated by UNESCO in 2005 as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Today, Palenque de San Basilio stands as monument to resistance and the fight for a better life in Afro-Colombian communities.

Please join us for a discussion on how palenquero culture, language, and traditions not only serve as a platform of resistance but also an understanding of how to take on the challenges that post-conflict and the gradual implementation of the peace accords will bring. The event will be moderated by WOLA’s Senior Associate for the Andes, Gimena Sanchez, and it will feature palenquero expert Miguel Angel Obezo Miranda.

Miguel Angel Obezo Miranda is a social, educational, cultural and community capacity builder with more than 15 years of experience in ethno-education, ethno-tourism, inter-culturalism and the Afro-Colombian and African diaspora. Mr. Obezo Miranda’s ample experience has largely focused on vulnerable and discriminated Afro-Colombian, Palenquera and Raizales communities.

Gimena Sanchez-Garzoli is a leading Colombia expert and Senior Associate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). Ms. Sánchez is also an expert on internally displaced persons, refugees and human rights, and her work has shed light on the situation of Colombia’s more than five million internally displaced persons—as well as help expose the links between Colombia’s government and drug-funded paramilitaries.