The panellists agreed that Afro communities constitute a great nation, vigorous and with great merits.
Conquering spaces for participation for social change
The Theme Table 4 of the Fourth International Colloquium of Afro-Descendants addressed a topic of great resonance at the global level: "Afro-descendants in national and international legal frameworks: Achievements and Challenges". This space was attended by extraordinary women, who have dedicated their lives to the struggle for the rights of Afro-descendant peoples: Dr. Alta Hooker, rector of URACCAN (Nicaragua); Cecilia Moreno, President of the Afro-Descendant Women Network (Panama); Consuelo Cruz A., human rights policy and activist (Spain). Marco Antonio Ramírez, president of Ashanti (Peru) served as moderator of this challenging exchange.
Discrimination as a challenge
Talking about Afro-descendants is not easy because of all the limits this town faces. Since the adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, anti-discrimination and racism have been fought; whether individually or collectively, the struggle for rights continues.
The panellists agreed that discrimination is the most perishable to Afro-descendants, and that continuing the struggle head-on and defending identity is a duty of each and one belonging to this community.
In her presentation, the rector of URACCAN, she stated that "We are an Afro-descendant nation, there is no barrier between our countries and we have to carry that on our foreheads; every day we are more and just as we are more, every day we must be more empowered and willing to fight for those rights that are our own, which are our rights."
Cecilia Moreno of Panama discussed: "I see the legal framework, but not the framework itself as an individual result, but the legal framework as the result of our advocacy process", this to put a stop to all the abuses to which the Afro-descendants are subjected.
Afro-descendants today have positioned themselves in different social and political spaces, progressing gradually. Part of these achievements is the 2015–2024 International Decade of Afro-descendants, under the theme "Recognition, Justice and Development to Achieve Concrete Changes in the Lives of Millions of Afro-Descendants".
Referring to great achievements and positioning, Consuelo Cruz A. insisted that if we are not in decision-making places it is much more difficult. The struggle in Latin America has been very tough, "we have achieved things, we have made progress, that we have not advanced at the rate that we all wanted, that we do not have everything we wanted, but we have made progress. We made a political impact in Spain, although it is not our country, we did what no one thought, an Afro-descendant Latin American woman, an Afro-Colombian woman got into the big house," she said.
Cruz also referred to doing serious articulation work with Afro-descendant women, men and young people, so that they may be the relief they must be and be the present of the constant struggle for the rights of the Afro community.