Liliana Pechene Muelas is an exceptional 34-year old leader of the indigenous Misak people in Colombia and has worked collaboratively to assert indigenous collective rights under the Colombian law. She has been involved, through various roles, in the governance structure of the Misak people for over ten years, culminating in her election as governor of her people for a year, in 2017. She was the sole indigenous representative in Oslo when Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos received the Nobel Prize for peace as a result of his role in the peace process.
The Plan de Vida is an exceptional approach to self-determined development and cultural survival, developed by the Misak people. Liliana’s life-long work has been to support communities to protect their territories and cultures through widely teaching and disseminating innovative approaches to relearning collective memory, deepening collective consciousness, and on the basis of this, visioning, planning and putting into practice the Plan de Vida. She has done this in her own territory and with other communities and organisations in Colombia, Latin America, Indonesia and Scotland.
In future, Liliana is committed to stay firmly rooted in her territory, and to continue sharing these approaches widely. As she puts it: “By sharing our Misak approaches and methodologies, my work will contribute to helping these communities rebuild their collective memory, to strengthen their collective consciousness and to determine their own futures. This is the only hope we have of saving our mother Earth, the ancient peoples of this earth, and humanity. “