We are honored to welcome lawyer and social leader Leyner Palacios Asprilla, who has worked for more than 20 years in favour of peace and justice, for a conversation on the impacts of Colombian armed conflict in Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.
From 2020 to 2022, Palacios Asprilla served on the Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-repetition (CEV) established in Colombia. He is a survivor of a massacre that claimed the lives of 102 people in his hometown of Bojayá, Chocó, located in Colombia’s Pacific Coast region. He founded the Committee for the Rights of Bojayá Victims in 2014. His work for human rights has been recognized with a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. Palacios Asprilla received the Global Pluralism Award in 2017, and was named Colombia’s Human Rights Defender of the Year in 2020.
Despite working for a publicly sponsored truth commission, Leyner Palacios Asprilla has been the target of multiple threats against his life and integrity. The Final Report of the CEV was published in 2022, as mandated by the Peace Accords signed between the government and leftist FARC rebels in 2016. The CEV collected 30,000 testimonies from victims of the Colombian conflict, including more than 2,000 from persons living in 23 countries outside Colombia - the largest endeavour of its kind ever by a truth commission. In his capacity as a commissioner, Palacios Asprilla listened to countless individual and collective testimonies of victims of violence in Colombia.
Today, he continues to lead community-based and international work for the recognition of the rights of African descendants and Indigenous peoples in Colombia and across the Americas. His work for Colombia obeys to the fact that people of African descent make up more than 20% of the population in Colombia, and 90% of the population in the Pacific Coast region.
At this special event, Commissioner Palacios Asprilla will share some of the findings of the CEV, focusing on the impact of the conflict on Indigenous and Afro-Colombian territories and community processes.
Please note: The event will be hosted in Spanish. Simultaneous interpretation to English will be available for those attending in-person.
To register to attend in person, please visit the event's page in Eventbrite: https://palacios-cev.eventbrite.ca
We present this event in partnership with the Department of History at the University of Toronto and the following:
- Algoma University
- Amnesty International Canada
- Amnesty International, U of T Chapter
- Canadian Jesuits International
- Centre for Global Pluralism
- Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), York University
- Colombia Action Solidarity Alliance
- Common Frontiers Canada
- Global Network Ethnic Peoples & Peace
- Instituto de Pueblos, Territorios y Paz
- Kairos Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
- Steelworkers Humanity Fund