Francia Márquez: Meet Colombia’s Vice President with Kenyan roots

Francia Márquez: Meet Colombia’s Vice President with Kenyan roots

President William Ruto, at the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, made a surprising revelation about Colombian Vice President Francia Márquez.

He disclosed that VP Márquez had traced her roots back to Meru, Kenya.

During his speech, Ruto shared that Francia Márquez was given a Kenyan name, Nyawira.

Moreover, the name she was given signifies a hardworking person in the local language.

Francia Márquez Kenyan roots

After VP Márquez’s impactful address, President Ruto warmly acknowledged her, saying:

“Thank you very much, my sister, Francia, for that candid statement. By the way, Francia has a Kenyan name, Nyawira.

When she came to Kenya, we traced her origin to a place called Meru. Thank you very much, Nyawira.”

Francia Elena Márquez Mina, the 13th and current Vice President of Colombia, has a remarkable journey.

Born on December 1, 1981, in Yolombó, a village in the Cauca Department.

Her international recognition began with her relentless efforts to halt illegal gold mining on ancestral land in La Toma, Cauca.

Activist as a teenager

Francia Márquez became an activist at the tender age of 13 when her community faced a threat from dam construction.

Consequently, this earned her the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2018.

Furthermore, Márquez organized a remarkable 10-day, 350-mile march involving 80 women from La Toma to the nation’s capital.

This led to the removal of all illegal miners and equipment from her community.

Eventually, Márquez’s journey as a social activist advocating for Afro-Colombians and climate justice led her to run for vice president.

In a historic win, she became Colombia’s first Afro-Colombian vice president, succeeding Marta Lucía Ramírez.

Becoming vice president

She assumed office on August 7, 2022, and her life story is nothing short of inspiring.

Notwithstanding, from her humble beginnings as a housekeeper to her pursuit of a law degree and her active involvement in forums, lectures, and speeches.

Márquez stands as a beacon of hope. Her unwavering dedication to environmental activism, combating environmental racism, and fighting against illegal mining has earned her global recognition.

Furthermore, Márquez’s commitment to shifting Colombia’s economy from fossil fuels to clean energy aligns with her vision for a more sustainable future.

Her remarkable achievements, including the Goldman Environmental Prize, highlight her impact on environmental protection and social change.

Most notably, Márquez’s analysis of social disparities has sparked a crucial dialogue about race and class.

A discussion rarely heard within the powerful political circles of her country.

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