Ship's Log: Francia Márquez gives Black youth a chance to dream in Colombia
Violence in the Black department of Chocó highlights Colombian society's racial blind spot
It’s an inescapable and painful reality: in Colombia, the experience of waking up to find that there has been another massacre isn’t new. But the most recent massacre challenges us, forces us to consider an issue that society is still refusing to fight: racism.
On April 6 in Quibdó, in the western department of Chocó, one of the country’s most impoverished regions and whose population is mostly Black and Indigenous, two young people and a baby were murdered, apparently by one of the gangs of contract killers (sicarios) that operate in the city. So far this year, 68 young people have been murdered in this department, whose population is around half a million. The day after the massacre, the people of Chocó mobilized across the department, demanding government assistance. But in the rest of the country, the headlines were focused on tragedies elsewhere. The news about Quibdó might have garnered a few clicks, but as days went by, nobody cared, because the victims were Black and impoverished.