Pamphlets stamped with symbols of a vaccination against racism will be handed out in the street as part of a national campaign against racism, held throughout May in Colombia.
The campaign promotes the integration of black and white communities through a series of parades, conferences and cultural activites. It also seeks to generate discussion over the exclusion of Negros in all levels of society.
“Historically we have been discriminated against. We have well thought out laws, but they have remained on paper,” said Esperanza Bioho, the director of the Colombia Negra cultural foundation, the organization running the campaign.
Colombian vice President Francisco Santos attended the launch of the project. He recognized that Colombia is racist and exclusionary towards its black population.
“Yes, Colombia discriminates. Yes there is racism. We have to break the chains that create this inequality and injustice,” he said.
Santos, who will visit Afro-Colombian communities throughout May, admitted that the black poor of Colombia live in worse conditions than the white poor.
Tusides Perea, a sports trainer, spoke about sports as a development strategy at the project launch.
“The best sportsmen in this country have been and are black. If the government would support their talent more, we would have a valuable development gauge and a way to combat racial discrimination,” said Perea.
Youth leader Carlos Ramos also spoke at the launch.
we are asking today, is the same as has we have been asking for 300 years: that we be treated equally. Colombia has a series of historical obligations
to us, and it’s time to demand that it makes amends,” said youth leader.