Maria Santiago_Web Kopie

Maria Santiago
Country/region: Colombia
Conflict: Internal armed conflict, social conflict, political genocide, war crime
Organisation: Corporación Reiniciar
Field of work: Peace with social justice, democratization, conflict transformation, human rights training, human rights defense and promotion, lobbying and advocacy at national and international level, integral accompaniment to victims of human rights violations.

Maria is Bachelor in Finances and International Trade and earned a Master in Management and Coaching. She is one of Reiniciar’s co-founder and permanent member of the board of directors. She became human rights activist at an early age because of her mother. Her mother, Jael Quiroga, is a lawyer and a committed human rights defender who was persecuted and attacked by the Colombian Army in 1992 because of the reports and complaints that she filed against them through the Human Rights NGO Credhos. After the attack, Jael and her family, as well as some of Credho’s cofounders, were forcibly displaced to Bogota, the capital, where they found Corporación Reiniciar.

Corporación Reiniciar has consultative status before the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ONU). It was founded at Bogota in 1992 and its main objective is defending, promoting and contributing to Human Rights and Humanitarian International Law fulfillment in Colombia, which is achieved through the following strategic areas of work:

1. Education and training on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

2. Comprehensive support and integral accompaniment to victims of human rights violations (legal, psycho-social, humanitarian, promotion of self-organization of the victims, economic and training on victims’ rights).

3. Documentation and litigation (national and international) of human rights violations cases.

4. Advocacy and lobbying before national authorities and peaceful pro-democracy human rights international bodies.