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Pedro Josse Velasco Tumiña

HRD, leader, spokesperson
Movement of Indigenous Authorities of the South West (AISO)

Pedro Josse Velasco Tumiña or "Taita Pedro Velasco" is a Misak indigenous human rights defender and leader of the Misak indigenous people of the department of Cauca. He is currently a spokesperson for the Movement of Indigenous Authorities of the South West (AISO). For years he has accompanied community mingas and has participated in concrete actions for the recovery of memory and territoriality having a key role in the struggle to the recovery of indigenous lands in Colombia.


HRDs in Colombia work in a violent and unsafe environment. They are subjected to threats, intimidation, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, physical assaults, torture, killings, illegal searches of their homes and offices and stigmatisation as a result of their activities in defence of human rights. The perpetrators of these abuses are frequently paramilitary groups, many of whom have links to the government or security services, or armed opposition groups. The continued frequent and severe threats and attacks against HRDs around the country contradict government claims of paramilitary demobilisation.