Liliana Pechené, the lady who feared white individuals and have become an indigenous chief in Colombia | Future Planet | EUROtoday

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Whoever sees Liliana Pechené Muelas as we speak can not think about that shy lady who was afraid of white individuals and who entered Silvia's college for the primary time within the eighties, when the Colombian Constitution of 1886 was nonetheless in drive, which didn’t equate the indigenous individuals with the remainder of the residents. “My parents decided that I had to receive an education beyond that which we share in our community, and that is why they sent me to a nuns' school,” she recollects.

Pechené deserted that silence and shyness to imagine political obligations inside the council from a really younger age: his first place got here shortly after ending highschool. She started a path that led her to analysis her individuals and promote the reminiscence of the Misak and to be a part of the delegation that accompanied the then Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, to the Nobel Prize ceremony in 2016, as an indigenous consultant of the victims of the armed battle.

The historical individuals of the Misak, also called Guambiano, have traditionally occupied half of what’s now the division of Cauca, in southwestern Colombia. Their title means “people of the water.” According to the 2018 census, 21,713 individuals acknowledged themselves as belonging to this neighborhood. They characterize 1.14% of the nation's indigenous inhabitants. “We have always been a people of non-violence,” says Pechené at an occasion of the Mundo Convive program on the Carlos III University of Madrid.

Pechené starred in a historic inauguration in 2017 as governor of the Guambía Reservation (southeast of Cauca). More than 4,000 votes turned “Mamá Liliana,” as some name her, into the brand new information of her city, symbolically and actually assigning her her baton of command. Additionally, in 2018 she was awarded as probably the greatest leaders in Colombia and in 2019 she obtained the Elinor Ostrom award in Peru for her function in selling the tradition of peace. “Assuming leadership in my town has meant great responsibility and a challenge. Proposing and implementing changes to the rules of coexistence in ancestral cultures, also from my role as a woman, has not been easy. But it was possible,” she explains.

Proposing and implementing modifications to the principles of coexistence in ancestral cultures, additionally from my function as a girl, has not been straightforward. But it was potential

Liliana Pechené, governor of the Guambía Reservation

“We cannot understand the Earth only as matter, it is about much more. The Earth is a living being that guards deep knowledge and is the center of complex interconnections,” says Pechené in entrance of dozens of younger individuals on the Casa de Vacas Cultural Center, inside Madrid's Retiro Park, on Earth Day, December 22. April. His message conveys the urgency of sharing a knowledge that the Misak individuals have guarded with dedication.

It just isn’t the primary time that the acknowledged chief of the Misak has visited Europe, and that she has traveled greater than 8,000 kilometers from her native Cauca to be an envoy of their tradition and identification. An identification that she manifests every day, sporting the everyday clothes of her village, together with the Tampal Kuari hat. “It represents the essence of our culture, a symbol of the misak life cycles, of our rituality and testimony of the meaning and importance of each element of nature.”

Pechené's battle comes from afar: from his ancestors. His phrases encourage reflection and are on the identical time a name to motion. “Today we look at our mother [en alusión a la Tierra] and we see her sick,” he says. “Some of her sons and daughters are looking for medicine to heal them, while others are just waiting for her to die. The fundamental question is, which group are you in?”

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