On Tuesday, February 23th, local Police discovered the body Emilsen Manyoma, a fearless leader of a network of Black and indigenous community organizations. Sister-Warrior-Queen Emilsen was ruthlessly murdered and beheaded; her body left to bleed out on the very land she dedicated her life to protect.
Afro-Colombians have long been targets of racial violence, an effect of the country’s decades-old civil war that has displaced an estimated two million Afro-Colombians. Over 200 Afro-Colombians and indigenous leaders were killed in 2016, many of them young men between the ages of 13 and 25 years old.
Charo Mina-Rojas, an Afro-Colombian political activist, stated that “Her assassination was a response to the work she was doing, defending the rights of Black people,” Mina-Rojas reports that Blacks and natives in Ms. Manyoma’s region are under pressure from coca producers and illegal mine operators and their gunmen.