Understanding threats against afro-descendant women human rights defenders: re-envisioning security

Colombia has the highest rate of assassinations of human rights defenders in Latin America, and women defending Afrodescendant and Indigenous territories are particularly at risk. Threatened Afro-descendant women defenders observe that the wave of violence against them, including femicide and rape, is designed to silence them, control their territories, and intimidate their communities. They can be at risk in all spaces of their lives, not only for defending their territories but also for stepping out of stereotypical gender roles. When asked what would ensure better safety, many Afro- Colombian women human rights defenders assert that protection must start with the Government respecting their collective territorial rights as recognized under Colombian law.