Francia Márquez, a Black woman from Colombia, South Amerrica has marked history in 2022. On Sunday 19, 2022, Francia Márquez, a vice presidential candidate and running mate of Gustavo Petro became the First Black in Colombia to be elected Vice-President. Her win marked a major step towards racial equality.
On Sunday 19, 2022, as the US was commemorating JuneTeenth, a major event involving Blacks happened in South America: Francia Márquez, a vice presidential candidate and running mate of President Gustavo Petro won elections.
With the win, Francia Márquez has become a phenomenon: the First Black in Colombia to be elected Vice-President.
Francia Márquez, 40, hails from the mountainous department of Cauca in southwestern Colombia. As the running mate of Gustavo Petro, she helped raise the issues facing Colombians, especially Blacks, including those related to racial equality, economic justice, and voter frustration.
In Colombia, Blacks or Afro-Colombians, have historically and consistently faced major challenges, including open racism and structural barriers to economic and social benifits available to other racial groups. The issues were compounded by the society which is ruled by upper economical classes under the grip of kingmakers and powerful families.
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Francia Márquez, A Black Woman Who Raised from Poverty to Political Leadership
The success of Francia Márquez is even remarkable as she comes from a very poor family. According to reports she grew up in a village with a violent environment, was sleeping on a floor as a child and teenage, was pregnant as 16 years old, and had to work in a gold mine and as a live-in maid to support her child.
In recent decades, Colombia has made progress but inequality remains a major challenge and forty percent of the people live in abject poverty, with most of them being Blacks or from indigenous and rural communities.
Even durring the campaign, she had to face some major challenges, mostly related to her race, her lower economic class, or her lack of experience in politics, despite the fact that she was a very effective environmental and social justice activist.
After the elections results were announced, Colombian people, especially the young and progressive groups, cheered the results (see here Colombia - South America: A Major Step Towards Racial Equality - Francia Márquez: First Black Woman Vice-President.).
However, the economic upper class and powerful families were not happy and some used controversial statements, including racist views, to express their sentiments.
She never gave up and kept her eyes on the objectif. She often, during politicall rallies, highlighted that she was running “because [the previous] governments have consistently turned their backs on the people, and failed tot promote justice and peace.”
@AfroAmerica Network, 2022