Women in Politics. Francia Márquez
Updated: Aug 1
Francia Márquez — a former housekeeper and activist—is Colombia’s first Black vice president.
For the first time in Colombia’s history, a Black woman is close to the top of the executive branch.
Francia Márquez, an environmental activist from the mountainous department of Cauca in southwestern Colombia, has become a national phenomenon, mobilizing decades of voter frustration, and becoming the country’s first Black vice president on 29th of May, as the running mate to Gustavo Petro.
Francia Elena Márquez Mina (born 1 December 1981) is a Colombian human-rights and environmental activist and lawyer, who is the vice president-elect of Colombia. She was born in Yolombó, a village in the Cauca Department.
She first became an activist at 13, when construction of a dam threatened her community. When she takes office, she will be the first Afro-Colombian vice president in the country's history. She will also be the second woman to hold the post, after Marta Lucía Ramírez. In August 2020, Márquez announced her candidacy in the 2022 Colombian presidential election and sought the nomination for the Historic Pact for Colombia coalition. She was later chosen by the coalition's nominee, Gustavo Petro, to be his running mate.
In 2018, she was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work to stop illegal gold mining in her community of La Toma and for her community organising. Márquez led a protest march of 80 women who trekked 560 kilometres (350 miles) to the capital city of Bogotá, and demanded the removal of all illegal miners from their community. In 2019, the BBC listed Francia Márquez on their 100 Women list for that year.
In June 2020, Márquez was elected to the National Peace and Co-existence council, established in May 2017, to monitor compliance with the peace agreement.She served as the council's president in 2021
Francia Márquez announced her run for the 2022 presidential elections in April 2021, during the National Feminist Convention. The Estamos Listas movement and fellow primary candidate Angelá María Robledo offered their support for Marquez's campaign.
In her campaign, she has advocated for women, Afro-Colombians and indigenous communities; who have been largely excluded from Colombian politics.
In December 2021, after her campaign could not collect the necessary signatures to be an independent candidate, the Alternative Democratic Pole party endorsed Marquez's campaign.
In the March 2022 primary elections for the Historic Pact candidacy, Márquez reached a historical result of 783,160 votes. This result placed her in second place after Gustavo Petro – with the second-highest vote total out of all the primary candidates.
Pic by Francia Márquez for Semana
Carolina Rodríguez Mayo (29 July 2021). "'Soy porque somos': La filosofía Ubuntu detrás de la apuesta política de Francia Márquez". Volcánicas (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 17 March 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
"Francia Márquez - Goldman Environmental Foundation". Goldman Environmental Foundation. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
"Francia Márquez: de desplazada a 'Nobel de medioambiente'". El Tiempo (in Spanish). Cali. 25 April 2018. Archived from the original on 26 April 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
"Francia Márquez sería también ministra de la Igualdad en eventual gobierno de Petro". RCTV (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 29 June 2022. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
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