Francia Elena Márquez Mina was born on Tuesday, December 1, 1981, in the municipality of Suárez, Colombian department of Cauca. From a very young age, her grandparents instilled in her a love for the land, which stimulated her great passion for the defense of territory.
La Toma, a small village located in the north of Cauca, which despite having many rivers around it does not have drinking water. And although there is an abundance of gold in its soil, its inhabitants are among the poorest of the country. This was the village where Francia Márquez grew up, who during her childhood dreamed of being a singer, dancer, actress and even a cultural anthropologist to understand her African roots and thus cling more to her culture and identity, although life would bring her to navigate the waters of the law, the arts and struggles.
“Our grandmothers taught us that the land is happiness and sadness, that the land is life and life has no price, that the land is dignity and that has no price.” This is one of Francia Márquez’s slogans for life. For this reason, it is not surprising that since 1997 she has been part of the Black Communities Process Organization, where Afro-Colombian community organizations are strengthened through actions aimed at defending the territory as a space of life, not only in the north of Cauca but throughout Colombia.