BY DIANA MENDOZA FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS
Norman Bañol Álvarez is a congressman for the special Indigenous constituency for the 2022- 2026 term in the House of Representatives (Lower House of Colombia). Hailing from the ancestral territory of San Lorenzo, he was Senior Advisor of the Regional Indigenous Council of Caldas -CRIDEC, as well as Indigenous Governor of his territory. He is a nurse by profession, a specialist in Social Security Management, and has worked in various health agencies. He has been spokesman of the southwestern Minga Indigenous movement and founder of the MAIS party, a political group that is part of the Historical Pact headed by current President Gustavo Petro.
Photo: Leonardo Díaz Ramírez
By Diana Mendoza for Debates Indígenas
Asdrúbal Plaza Calvo is a Yanacona teacher who has been involved with the Colombian Indigenous movement for 40 years. After being a teacher for several years, he went on to become a lawyer and later obtained a doctorate in political and social sciences. From the perspective of his long professional and activist career, he highlights the importance of supporting processes of recovery of ancestral knowledge in environmental matters with the Nasa Tewalas of Valle del Cauca.
BY DIANA ALEXANDRA MENDOZA FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS
The election of Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez marks a milestone in Colombian history. The sudden entry of these new players on the political scene symbolizes a profound change in the ruling elite. However, it has been a long road, fraught with adversity, violence and the rampant increase in poverty, which now affects over half of the population. Ivan Duque’s government, wracked with corruption, coupled with violence against social leaders and repression of the popular protest, were the key factors that led to an unprecedented popular mobilization that secured the triumph of the Historical Pact coalition in the second round of elections.