Saturday, October 16

Colombia’s midwives who stand up to armed groups to bring children into the world

  • Kiran Stallone y Steven Grattan
  • Buenaventura, Colombia

Feliciana Hurtado.

Feliciana Hurtado is one of the 40 traditional midwives who work in Buenaventura.

Amid the suffocating heat of Buenaventura, Feliciana Hurtado always walks with a big smile through the neighborhood where she has given birth to many babies in the last 30 years.

68 years old, greets the mothers she has helped and their children. Hurtado lives in a relatively safe area of ​​this largely black port city on Colombia’s impoverished and troubled western coast, but her work as a midwife often takes her into dangerous and troubled neighborhoods.

Buenaventura has a long history of violence and conflict, which led to it being known as the Colombia’s “horror capital”.

Since 1988, armed gangs have been fighting for territorial control of drug routes outside the port and have carried out gruesome dismemberments in the so-called “pique houses.”

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