Francia Elena Márquez Mina is a Colombian human-rights and environmental activist and lawyer, who is the 13th and current Vice President of Colombia. She was born in Yolombó, a village in the Cauca Department. She first became an activist at 13, when construction of a dam threatened her community. After taking office, she became the first Afro-Colombian vice president in the country's history. She is also the second woman to hold the post, after Marta Lucía Ramírez. In August 2020, Márquez announced her candidacy in the 2022 Colombian presidential election and sought the nomination for the Historic Pact for Colombia coalition. She was later chosen by the coalition's nominee, Gustavo Petro, to be his running mate.
In 2018, she was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work to stop illegal gold mining in her community of La Toma and for her community organising. Márquez led a protest march of 80 women who trekked 560 kilometres (350 miles) to the capital city of Bogotá, and demanded the removal of all illegal miners from their community. In 2019, the BBC listed Francia Márquez on their 100 Women list for that year.
Colombian peace process
In December 2014, Márquez travelled to Havana, Cuba, to participate in the peace negotiations between the administration of president Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Whilst there, Márquez highlighted how the conflict had disproportionately affected Afro-Colombians and particularly black women. She also emphasised that ethnic minority groups needed to take part in the peace dialogue to ensure the preservation of lasting peace and stability.
In June 2020, Márquez was elected to the National Peace and Co-existence council, established in May 2017, to monitor compliance with the peace agreement. She served as the council's president in 2021.
2022 presidential election
rancia Márquez announced her candidacy for the 2022 presidential election in April 2021, during the National Feminist Convention. The Estamos Listas movement and fellow primary candidate Angelá María Robledo offered their support for Marquez's campaign.
In her campaign, she has advocated for women, Afro-Colombians and indigenous communities; who have been largely excluded from Colombian politics.
In December 2021, after her campaign could not collect the necessary signatures to be an independent candidate, the Alternative Democratic Pole party endorsed Márquez's campaign.
In the March 2022 primary elections for the Historic Pact nomination, Márquez reached a historical result of 783,160 votes. This result placed her in second place after Gustavo Petro – with the second-highest vote total out of all the primary candidates.
Vice presidential campaign
ountries". Márquez's claim arose after Goldberg alleged that Venezuela and Russia would try to interfere in the elections. She further expressed, "Although he (Goldberg) did not mention the Historical Pact or Gustavo Petro, it is obvious that he was referring to our candidacy and our political bet." Despite this, Márquez assured that if victorious, a potential Petro administration would not cut ties with the United States.
During the campaign, Márquez and Gustavo Petro faced numerous death threats. In one instance, while campaigning, Márquez was targeted by laser beams from a nearby building, prompting security guards to shield her from what appeared to be an assassination attempt. In response to this and many other similar situations, 90 elected officials and prominent individuals from over 20 countries signed an open letter expressing concern and condemnation of attempts of political violence against Márquez and Petro. The letter also highlighted the assassination of over 50 social leaders, trade unionists, environmentalists and other community representatives in 2022. Signatories of the letter included former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa and American linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky.
On election day, which occurred on 29 May, Márquez's Historic Pact ticket placed first, advancing to the runoff, since no candidate received over 50% of the vote. Márquez and Petro faced Rodolfo Hernández and Marelen Castillo. Shortly after the first round, Márquez and Petro received the endorsement of Luis Gilberto Murillo for the second round. Murillo had been the running of Sergio Fajardo in the Hope Center Coalition, which did not qualify for the runoff. Márquez and Petro went on to defeat Hernández and Castillo in the second round held on 19 June. Upon her electoral triumph, Márquez proclaimed that the Petro administration would not "expropriate anyone". She said the most significant challenge she faced whilst on the campaign trail was racist attacks. Márquez's inauguration as vice president occurred on 7 August 2022. On the other hand, due to the approval needed by Congress to establish the ministry of equality, Márquez may not assume the leadership of the proposed department until mid-way through her term as vice president.
Vice Presidency (2022–present)
Márquez was sworn in as vice president on 7 August 2022.