Montana State University

Women's Center to co-host Columbian human rights advocate lecture April 9

March 30, 2009

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Nidia Castellanos will discuss "Women Resisting War in Columbia" at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in SUB 236. According to event organizers, Castellanos is a single mother of three children who is risking her life to defend human rights in Colombia. She is the secretary general of the Arauca Peasant Association (ACA), which promotes organic agriculture and defends the rights of its members and their families. Event organizers say ACA has been repressed by the Colombian government and has also suffered attacks by the guerrillas.

"Defending the rights of small farmers and their families in our state of Arauca means facing a lot of risk," Castellanos said. "I'm willing to suffer those consequences because I want a better future for my children - Melisa, Camila and Brandon.

Castellanos will be accompanied by Scott Nicholson, a former Montana resident who has been in Arauca since July 2006 documenting the human rights situation in the region. The presentation will include some of his photos of Arauca.
The presentation is sponsored by the Montana State University Women's Center and Community Action for Justice in the Americas.

For more information, contact Betsy Danforth at 994-3836.