In June 2017, the Cimarron Guard – ancestral, unarmed AfroColombian community guards – convened in the department of Cauca to exchange knowledge and skills in the protection of their territories. The meeting brought together the Cimarron Guard from the Pacific Coast and the Cimarron Guard from the Caribbean coast for the first time, to begin a process of being recognised by the Colombian State.
I secured financial support, prepared the logistics of the meeting, and invited two key actors in the Colombian conflict – the Ministry of Interior and the demobilized FARC rebel group – to listen to the Cimarron Guard’s demands and concerns.
This initial meeting began a process of establishing a Cimarron Guard within each AfroColombian community across the country. The unarmed Cimarron Guards protect their communities and their tradition without police or militar intervention.