On Sunday, Cameroonians along the Front Range gathered in Aurora to show support for their loved ones enduring crisis at home.
Southwest Cameroon is going on more than a month without internet after the government shut of its access in January.
The move came as a tipping point in a longstanding crisis between the country's French government and the country’s only English-speaking region.
The conflict began in the 1950’s when Cameroon was divided between France and Britain.
Over the years, the French-speaking portions tried assimilating the southwestern Anglo-Saxon region by using French in schools and courts.
Within the last five years, protests began turning violent as the government arrested activists intended on protecting their heritage.
In 2016, more than 100 people died.
“The denial of human rights is something that must be condemned,” Cameroonian Denis Neba said.
Neba was one of about 30 people who gathered outside of the Aurora Public Library on Sunday.
“It makes me sick to my stomach,” he said of the crisis in his homeland. “It makes me sick to my stomach that a government, instead of protecting its citizens, is there to take away their rights and kill them.”
The recent internet shutdown has hurt local businesses in the southwestern portion of Cameroon where several tech start-ups have thrived. It has also stymied local markets as ATM’s and banks have shutdown as a result.
“It was very tricky, I was in a war zone,” Harmony Bobga said. “It’s scary. I had to go underground.”
Bobga, a human rights lawyer in Cameroon, fled his native country in January once a warrant was issued for his arrest. It came only months after smuggling his daughter to neighboring Nigeria as a way to avoid the rampant raping and killings
“It's not simply our culture is at stake,” Bobga said. “For 56 years there has been a programmed annihilation of our culture.”