Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Gesture for Buenaventura

Yellilng 'Break the silence!' women raise their fists in protest against violence.
These women were rehearsing today for a march protesting violence against women and violence in general in the violence-scourged city of Buenaventura. With a population of 362,000 people, Buenaventura has had 87 murders this year - a rate triple Colombia's much-too-high national homicide rate.

Despite having Colombia's most important seaport, Buenaventura is extremely poor. Because the city is a corridor for the export of cocaine toward North America, gangs, paramilitaries and guerrilla group fight a vicious war to control the area. Several of those murdered this year have been dismembered and their body parts scattered for their families to find and bury. The government recently sent 200 additional soldiers to try to reinforce security in Buenaventura.

Shacks line a shoreline in Buenaventura. The city is overwhelmingly Afro-Colombian and impoverished. (Photo: El Espectador)
Soldiers stand guard on a corner in Buenaventura. The government recently sent more than 200 soldiers to the violene-wracked port city. (Photo: El Espectador)

'Do you want me to tell you something?'

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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