Who is Francia Marquez, Colombia's first Black vice president?

STORY: Who is Francia Marquez?

(Francia Marquez, Colombian Vice President) “Having Black women and men challenging to occupy positions of power in this country is an act of racial justice."

1// She is a celebrated environmental activist

Her opposition to gold mining in her home municipality of Suarez

saw her receive the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2018

2// She comes from Colombia's largely marginalized Cauca province

plagued by violence and poverty

Locals want her to shore up land rights and address inequality

(Francia Marquez, Colombian Vice President) “Having Black women and men challenging to occupy positions of power in this country is an act of racial justice. It is an act of justice for our Afro-descendant people, Raizales, Palenqueros. Indigenous people, as is well said in the peace agreement, historically have experienced not only structural racism and exclusion but also the disproportionate effects of the armed conflict.”

3// The 40-year-old single mother and former housekeeper

has never never held an elected office

4// As vice president, Marquez is expected to push for decriminalization of abortion

and focus on access to the procedure for indigenous, Afro-Colombian and rural women

(Ana Cristina Gonzalez, Causa Justa) “Being a woman in Colombia is not the same if you live in Choco or even in Suarez, where she is from, and it is not the same if you are an indigenous woman or an Afro-descendant woman. I believe that Francia has made it very clear in her personal history and in her public speeches that she understands that all these variables come together to aggravate inequality in certain women’s groups, and I believe her sensitivity is something that works in her favor from the time she takes on the responsibility of carrying out public policies for women.”

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