FELICIANO VALENCIA is an indigenous leader
FELICIANO VALENCIA is an indigenous leader from the Asociacion de Cabildos Indigenas del Norte del Cauca (ACIN), and was a councillor of the Consejo Regional Indigena del Cauca between 2007 and 2009. He was spokesperson of the social movement Alliance la Minga de Resistencia Social y Comunitaria, and also it’s successor the Congreso de los Pueblos. He is recognised as a ‘master of traditional knowledge’ by UNESCO, and is one of the most distinguished social movement leaders of the 21st century in Colombia. He is recognised nationally and internationally for his extensive knowledge of ethnic rights, his important contribution to advances in indigenous legislation, and his protagonist role in regional and national debates between social movements and Colombian ex-presidents Andres Pastrana and Alvaro Uribe Velez, and current president Juan Manuel Santos.
In recent years Feliciano has led countless public protests and campaign actions, which gave rise to negotiations and agreements with the government. Feliciano has been vociferous in demonstrating how the government has not complied with these agreements, and arguing that the Colombian state has a historic debt towards the social movements, communities and peoples. He has been invited to conferences, forums and to universities around the country to present the vision of peace of the indigenous movement and social movements, where he has outlined the proposal of construction of community-led, transformative peace which is inclusive and participative. Because of his frank and uncompromising attitude in demanding respect for the collective rights of communities, he has suffered serious security threats against him, which have increased with his leadership in social protests against genocide and state abandonment of communities. In his role as representative of indigenous authorities, Feliciano has exposed the responsibility of state and other armed groups’ in violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in indigenous territories.
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