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Afro-Colombians and Multiculturalism: A Case Study on Multiculturalism as an Approach to Addressing the Disadvantage of Minorities Open Access

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Afro-Colombians have sought multiculturalism or special group rights as a solution to their disadvantage vis-à-vis the larger Colombian society. During the 1970s and 1980s, they aligned themselves with the global indigenous peoples movement of the time and articulated their struggle for justice and equality along ethnic lines, accordingly. On August 27, 1993, the Afro-Colombian quest for multiculturalism culminated with the adoption of Law 70, which recognizes this population’s right to collective land ownership, self-government, and group representation, among other things. Unfortunately, to this date Afro-Colombians continue to be at a disproportionate disadvantage relative to the broader Colombian nation in virtually all regards, and the dire state of affairs in the predominantly Afro-Colombian department of Chocó exemplifies this. Thus, the conclusion can be made that multiculturalism in the form of Law 70 is not an adequate approach to promoting conditions of equality for Afro-Colombians relative to the larger Colombian society. And the liberal theory of multicultural citizenship developed by theorist Will Kymlicka provides important insight into why this might be the case.

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