Colombia: Rap trio brings truth about Colombia to the UK

The group has faced paramilitary death threats for their lyrics, which tell of the killings and disappearances that have beset ordinary Colombians.

Civilians have been drawn into the conflict between guerrillas, the security forces and army-backed paramilitaries in Colombia. Amnesty International has documented human rights violations by all sides.

“Where did my memories go, my people, and all my dead. They were disappeared, and now only silence is left,” rap Zona Marginal in one of their tunes. But, “the moment for change has arrived…by the expression of a people. ”

“Zona Marginal are at the forefront of the struggle for human rights. They are one of the few hip hop crews who genuinely come from a ghetto and genuinely sing about how to improve it. This is where art meets community action. They are inspiring and original”
says comedian Mark Thomas, who discovered them on a recent trip to Colombia.

The three run youth workshops in their community, including a radio station - which was closed down by the authorities. They will be talking about their work, their lives and the power of music to influence and mobilise young people during the UK tour.

An Amnesty International report last month detailed the impact of the conflict in Colombia on young Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights. Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights have had their heads shaved for wearing cropped tops, have been stripped naked and publicly humiliated for wearing shorts and threatened with punishment for wearing ‘low-slung’ jeans. Other punishments have included floggings and mutilation with knives.

One inhabitant of Cartagena told Amnesty International:

“[The paramilitaries] told girls they mustn’t wear cropped tops (ombligueras) and low-slung jeans. The boys were banned from having long hair or wearing earrings … a young woman had acid put in her belly button. A young man had his earrings ripped off injuring his ears.”

BULB, written by young people in Britain and around the world and sold in the UK by a grassroots network of young vendors, is the only alternative to celebrity and consumer driven teen magazines.

'Never was an exciting, informed, informative, involved, political, irreverent, unpatronising magazine for young people more urgently needed than now,” says journalist John Pilger. “ Bulb is a powerful, talented voice for the young and the youthful'.

Fifteen year old contributor Sofia Florencia Absolo agrees.

“I’d say my beliefs and opinions are centred on pacifist and agnostic ideas. Bulb is my dream come true,” she says. Full details at: www.bulbmag.com .

BULB and Zona Marginal are at London’s first ever Latin Hip-hop festival at ‘KOKO’ – the newly renovated Camden Palace (1A Camden High Street) on Sunday 28 November @ 6 PM to 1AM.

Tickets £10 in advance, available from Ticketmasters.

Also featuring the best of Latin British Hip Hop: Latin Clan, Stylo Prohibido, Café Mezclado, DGR Crew, Djs Danny Havanero and Jay& Blaze. Special set by Radio Xtra DJ Excalibah. Other Djs Jose Luis (Koko Latino), Julian M (Sound) and Kevin Souza (Sound)

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