Once the Sunset Settles on Colombian Independence Day: Activist Ana Maria Lopez Shares Her Personal Thoughts

Illustrator Dipacho (www.dipacho.com) #GenocidioWayuu #IlustradoresconlaGuajira
Illustrator Dipacho (www.dipacho.com) #GenocidioWayuu #IlustradoresconlaGuajira

“Sukaia susutain Kolompia,” wayuunaiki for “Happy Colombian Independence Day;” a sentence that doesn’t have the same meaning after my trip to La Guajira. Independence? Not for the Wayúu and Afro-Colombian communities that live near Cerrejón. Rather, I would argue that they enjoyed their independence until Cerrejón arrived and signed their first contract in 1976. Slowly, the big multinational corporation began to displace people from their homeland, driving them to move to nearby cities, border towns in Venezuela, and if lucky, gave the people houses in an unfamiliar urban setting. Those who live in new towns orchestrated by Cerrejón suddenly have the “independence” to find a new way of surviving in a harsh and uneven environment where they have been set up for failure. In the past, these communities had access to rivers; they fished, hunted and lived off of their agriculture. Now, they are enslaved to neo-colonization practices which force them to abide by unfair laws and drive them to work on “productive projects” in order to make a living. These attacks on human rights need to stop, Colombia needs to wake up, the world needs to get involved.

Illustrator Dipacho (www.dipacho.com) depicts the Afro community of Colombia and the land their ancestors have dwelled on and passed down.
Illustrator Dipacho (www.dipacho.com) depicts the Afro community of Colombia and the land their ancestors have dwelled on and passed down.
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