Front Line Moms defend youth from state security forces at the Portal de las Americas humanitarian space in Bogota

Published by Brent Patterson on

Share This Page

Photo by Camilo Rozo from El Pais.

Last year we saw the “Wall of Moms” resist police violence against protests following the police murder of George Floyd in the United States. This year, there is the “Mamás en primera línea” (Moms on the front line) in Colombia.

They are present in the Portal de las Americas humanitarian space in Bogota, a key site of resistance during the national strike that began on April 28. Carlos, one of the organizers in the humanitarian space, says: “For us they are a great support.”

One of the moms, 39-year-old Vanesa, told El Pais: “We had been watching with fear and anguish for several nights how the police attacked our young people who came out to protest their rights. We came to the conclusion that if we were going to do a social job, we should do well: on the front line, putting the body in place to defend the protesters.”

Reuters adds: “Vanesa protects herself from the hail of tear gas, rocks and fire hose streams that often mark protests in Colombia with just safety glasses, a helmet, a bandanna over her nose and mouth and a flimsy black wooden shield.”

“Vanesa said the moms were inspired to take action after they attended a protest where the national riot squad tear-gassed a group of protesting mothers and children.”

“The group has appeared in social media videos, one of which shows a sound grenade thrown by police exploding near them during a demonstration.”

Vanesa says: “We’re a group of single moms who are now trying to fight for the violated rights of young people.”

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has stated: “At least 1,038 demonstrations have resulted in deaths, disappearances, injured persons and sexual assaults as a result of the disproportionate and illegitimate use of force.”

The IACHR notes that 43 people have lost their lives during the national strike and that there are complaints of 132 people who remain missing, 87 acts of sexual violence allegedly committed by law agents against female protesters, and approximately 979 civilians injured, including at least 33 people with eye trauma.

The Wall of Moms in Portland, Oregon in July 2020. Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP.

To learn more about what’s happening in Colombia, we invite you to join our bilingual (English/Spanish) webinar by registering here.

Share This Page


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *