Roldán, “Acción Cultural Popular”

Roldán, Mary.  2015.  Acción Cultural Popular, Responsible Procreation, and the Roots of Social Activism in Rural Colombia.  Latin American Research Review 49(S): 27-44.

Abstract: This essay examines the Responsible Procreation campaign of Acción Cultural Popular (ACPO) within the context of “zones of crisis” characterized not only by the legacy of long-standing violence but by tensions experienced within the Catholic Church and Colombian society at large during the tumultuous decades of the 1960s and 1970s. ACPO centered its Responsible Procreation campaign on a radical critique of authoritarian and exclusionary gender relations that could only be remedied by guaranteeing women’s access to education and their participation as equals in household and community decision making. As a Catholic-affiliated organization, ACPO enjoyed legitimacy many secular organizations did not, enabling it to provide spaces where rural Colombians, especially women, could experiment with voice and agency and explore alternative visions of citizenship and community development without fear of reprisal or social ostracism. Christian social activism, the essay concludes, often laid the basis for the proliferation today of social movements spearheaded by rural women.