Woman Convicted of Racism Against Colombia’s First Black Vice President, Called Afro- Colombians “Apes”

Woman Convicted of Racism Against Colombia’s First Black Vice President, Called Afro- Colombians “Apes”

Colombia’s first Black vice president, Francia Márquez, has some racists showing their true colors.

NBC News reports Luz Fabiola Rubiano, 62, was convicted of discrimination and harassment this week after making racist comments about the dignitary during an antigovernment protest last year.

The South American country looks at acts of discrimination as punishable up to three years in prison. However, some judges can simply grant parole or house arrest over prison. Rubiano pleaded guilty to the charges and will be sentenced May 30.

Rubiano went viral in September after rallying against the vice president in a video published by a local news site. The small business owner was seen protesting in front of Colombia’s congress and responded to a question from a journalist by shooting insults against Márquez and Afro Colombians, calling them “apes.”

“Apes are now governing us,” Rubiano said. “Francia Márquez is an ape…what education can Black people have, they steal, attack and kill.”

Márquez, 41, became Colombia’s first Black vice president in 2022, according to the Associated Press, after helping President Gustavo Petro win the presidential election.

Born and raised in El Cauca, home to the country’s largest Black population, the human rights and environmental activist and lawyer has been outspoken regarding the racism experienced in Colombia, which she says is part of the legacy of colonialism and slavery.

Politico reports the Afro-Colombian population is round 3 million, with 77% percent of Black Colombians living in extreme poverty. During her speeches, Marquez often draws inspiration from African American civil rights leaders, such as Sojourner Truth, to evoke the Black Lives Matter movement.

Marquez’s lawyers initially filed a complaint that prompted an investigation into the Bogotá resident. During the hearing, Rubiano was accused of inciting hate, and damaging the reputation of Márquez and Colombia’s Afro-Colombian population, while compromising their right to not be discriminated against.