Leading Afro-Colombian activist Francia Márquez survived an attack Saturday by a group of armed men who launched a grenade and opened fire on a group of activists in the southern Colombia town of Santander de Quilichao. Saturday’s attack came amid a spate of violence against community leaders in Colombia. Rights groups say the number of murders increased by around 50% in 2018 over the previous year. Márquez has been recognized for her work combating illegal gold mining by armed groups. Francia Márquez joined us in our New York studio one year ago—in May 2018—shortly after winning the Goldman Environmental Prize.
Francia Márquez: “Today, even though there is a peace process, hundreds of leaders, of activists are being prosecuted, but also murdered. Every day, there are leaders that are being killed, and nothing is being done to stop that violence. That is the circumstance in La Toma, but also of many other people across the country, of social leaders, of very many different organizations, of ethnic communities.”