A group of human rights activists, NGOs, and American and Colombian citizens held a rally in front of the White House in Washington D.C. Monday evening to call to attention the plight of Colombia’s internally displaced population, reports Colombian NGO Codhes.
The rally’s purpose was to raise awareness of Colombia’s internally displaced population, which is reported to be as high as 4.9 million people, and to encourage members of the U.S. Congress to pass House Resolution 1224 on internally displaced Afro-Colombians, indigenous people, and women.
The bill asks the Colombian government to enforce Constitutional Court mandates to protect the rights of Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities, whom are often the victims of displacement from their lands and homes.
During the rally, an exhibition was displayed of photographs of Colombians who were violently displaced, with rally-goers stressing the need to make these victims a priority of U.S. policy towards Colombia.
The rally was organized by the U.S. Network in Support of Afro-Colombian grassroots communities, whose members include AFRODES USA, Washington Office on Latin America, U.S. Office on Colombia, Chicago Religious Leadership Network, PBI Colombia, Global Rights, Grupo Afro-Colombiano Folklorico Tangare, TransAfrica Forum, Ecos del Pacifico, AFSC, Public Citizen-Global Trade Watch and Afro-descendant activists Prof. Joseph Jordan, Prof. Agustin Lao, Prof. Arturo Escobar, Ajamu Dillahunt, Monika Rizo and Roland Roebuck.