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Colombian activist featured on PBS coming to the Great Lakes this fall

Francia Marquez, an Afro-Colombian community organizer, will be traveling to the U.S. this fall to participate in a Witness for Peace speaking tour. She will be with us from October 30 - November 19 and will visit IL, IN, OH and MI. She will also speak at the vigil to close the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning.

Francia was featured in PBS documentary "The War We Are Living" that aired in November (click here to view the trailer and here to watch the full movie). Here's how PBS described Francia and her colleague:

In Cauca, a mountainous region in Colombia’s Pacific southwest, two extraordinary Afro-Colombian women are fighting to hold onto the gold-rich land that has sustained their community through small-scale mining for centuries. Clemencia Carabali and Francia Marquez are part of a powerful network of female leaders who found that in wartime women can organize more freely than men. As they defy paramilitary death threats and insist on staying on their land, Carabali and Marquez are standing up for a generation of Colombians who have been terrorized and forcibly displaced as a deliberate strategy of war. If they lose the battle, they and thousands of their neighbors will join Colombia’s 4 million people – most of them women and children – who have been uprooted from their homes and livelihoods.

Francia, who will be accompanied by a Witness for Peace translator, is available for itineration in the Chicago area, Indiana, southern Michigan and Ohio from October 29 - November 14. Please let us know if you would be interested in hosting Francia by emailing We are in the process of scheduling events at churches, colleges and universities and community centers, among others.

In order to cover the costs of this tour, and to make a contribution to Francia's important work, we are asking event organizers to contribute an honorarium at all events.

Thanks in advance for your help in providing venues for Francia to discuss Colombia's war, it's gold mining boom and the efforts underway to keep communities intact.

Trailer for PBS's The War We Are Living, featuring Francia Marquez

Watch The War We Are Living Promo on PBS. See more from Women War and Peace.

PBS's 52 minute documentary, The War We are Living, featuring Francia Marquez

Watch The War We Are Living on PBS. See more from Women War and Peace.