Colombian Communities Under Attack

A Speaking Tour on the plight of Afro-Colombians

Organized by US Office on Colombia/Colombian Human Rights Network


The Colombia Human Rights Network and the US Office on Colombia are organizing a speaking tour for two Afro-Colombian human rights defenders in April 2002. Nimia Vargas and Marino Cordoba will visit cities across the United States and give first hand accounts of their lives and their personal struggle in a country torn by war. They will give testimony of the massacre of rural communities and the persecution of civilians by both sides in the war, by paramilitary groups, supported by the Colombian military, and by guerrilla forces.


Nimia Vargas is co-founder of the Colombian Network of Rural Women and the Network of Choco Women. Nimia has worked for several years to support families displaced from Choco, and played an important leadership role in the community's development. She specializes in issues of gender equality and community empowerment through social development. She is an active participant in, and a leader of the Colombian women's movement.


Marino Cordoba is leader of the Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians and the Regional Peasant Association (OCABA). Marino has worked for many years for the inclusion of Afro-Colombians in everyday political and social life in Colombia. He has struggled to improve living conditions of his community, irrespective of whether they were displaced by paramilitary or by guerilla forces. He is an advocate for cultural autonomy and land rights for displaced Afro-Colombians.


Nimia and Marino will be speaking in the cities listed below, on the following dates:


April 4th- 7th in Boston contact Cathy Crumbly (978) 934-2980


April 18th-21st in Washington, DC contact Neil Jeffery (202) 232-8090


April 22nd-24th in New York City contact Victoria Maldonado (718) 369-4182


Nimia will be speaking in the cities listed below, on the following dates:


April 1st- 3rd in Philadelphia contact Ana Maria Gomez Lopez (215) 417-6719


April 8th- 9th in Iowa City contact Maria Hope (319) 354-3277 or (319) 335-0353


April 10th-12th in Albuquerque contact Marjorie Childress (505) 247-1346


April 13th-15th in Portland, Oregon contact Andrea Cano (503) 226-9036


April 16th-17th in Seattle contact Diana Leal (206) 216-0419


For further information please contact the US Office on Colombia (202) 232-8090 or