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Nonam Wounann, Community Girl

Colored Pencil - 23" x 27"


This little girl is from the Humanitarian and Biodiverse Reservation of Santa Rosa de Guayacán, a Nonam Wounaan indigenous community that lives along the Calima River and is part of the municipality of Buenaventura. 

The community is also located close to the port of Buenaventura, an ideal route for drug trafficking. Their land is under constant threat from those who want to expand the port and control the territory for drug trafficking. As a result, communities along the river are continually displaced from their land and are fleeing from violent paramilitaries.


The community of Santa Rose de Guayacán has been displaced multiple times in the past several years, fleeing to the city of Buenaventura for refuge. If not fleeing, communities often feel confined to their land, afraid to move so they don’t get caught in the cross hairs of violence. This means that they are unable to transit freely in their territory to cultivate crops, fish, and carry out their daily activities.


Moreover, the current Colombian administration, under pressure from the United States, is returning to aerial fumigation, a historically unsuccessful tactic used to try and eradicate coca crops. Aerial fumigation causes displacement, pollutes water sources, poisons food crops, and has been linked to cancer.  The return to these vintage policies further threaten already marginalized communities. This community and many along the river sit at the intersection of physical violence, economic exploitation, and a marginalized social status that results in and perpetuates ongoing injustices.

Despite the presence of U.S. funded military forces in the area, violence along the river continues. In fact, many communities distrust the military as they have been known to operate in collusion with paramilitaries. U.S. funds support, train, and arm these troops.

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