The Colombian Truth Commission (CEV) announced on Tuesday the nomination of social leader Leyner Palacios as a new commissioner of this institution, which is focused on defending the peace process in the South American country.
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“After a vast and diversified selection process, which began on August 21 and ended with the interviews of the candidates on September 28, the plenary of the commission appointed, by consensus, Leyner Palacios as the new commissioner,” CEV said.
Palacios was a community leader of Bojaya, in the department of El Choco, and currently serves as the secretary of the Pacific Interethnic Truth Commission, which advocates for the rights of communities and victims.
He is a survivor of the armed conflict in the region, where he lost over 30 relatives and friends during crossed fire between armed groups in 2002. Palacios has received death threats because of his activism against violence.
Palacios participated in the 2016 Peace Dialogues as a representative of the victims of the armed conflict and received the 2017 World Award for Pluralism.
He was nominated by organizations such as the Greater Community Council of the Atrato Farmers Association (COCOMACIA), the Colombian Network of Memory Places, and the Association of Missing Relatives of Tumaco.
CEV’s selection process reviewed about 80 candidates, most of whom were representatives of afro-descendant, farmer, and Indigenous communities.