FEATURE10 August 2023

Rising confidence: Diversity in Latin America

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Features Impact Inclusion Latin America

Marginalised groups are asserting themselves in Latin America, with diverse creative energy and an embrace of indigenous culture giving rise to vibrant brands and cultural scenes. By Sabine Stork, Jimena Martinez and Graciela Sylva.

The green scarf has been adopted by Latin American feminists and reproductive rights activists

“After 214 years we have a government of the people... a government of the callused hands... a government of the nobodies of Colombia.” So said Francia Márquez, who, a little over six months ago, became Colombia’s first black vice-president.

Márquez comes from Yolombó, a small village in the remote western state of Cauca. She trained as an agricultural technician, got a law degree, and became an environmental activist who organised a 350km march of 80 Afro-Colombian women to the capital, Bogotá, to protest against illegal mining.

Márquez could serve as a poster child for the rise of the marginalised across much of Latin America, which has been dominated by a male, white urban elite since the ‘conquest’ of the continent by European colonists. These groups – be they indigenous people, women, or inhabitants of far-flung regions such as the vice-president’s home state – are increasingly finding their voice.

A shift to the left in many countries and the election of a number of ...