Yirley Judith Velasco Garrido

Activist Type
Women's Rights

Yirley Judith Velasco Garrido, a women's human rights defender from El Salado, Colombia, has dedicated her life to advocating for victims of sexual violence in the context of the country's armed conflict. Despite being a survivor herself, she tirelessly works as the legal representative of the Women Sowing Life Association, seeking justice and reparations for those affected. Facing ongoing death threats and stigmatization, Yirley's resilience remains unwavering, prompting the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to grant precautionary measures for her safety and that of her family. Despite the hope sparked by Colombia's peace process, the safety of human rights defenders like Yirley continues to be threatened, highlighting the urgent need for ongoing protection and support. As Yirley asserts, "We women can start building peace from our hearts."

Artwork by
Daniela Jordan-Villaveces

Yirley is someone who has managed to thrive and make the environment around her better despite the violence that has surrounded her for much of her life. With this portrait, I wanted to showcase her enwrapped in brightly colored flora that not only represents the nature of Colombia (one of the most richly biodiverse places in the world) but also the blooms of seeds of hope she sows in her Community. Sembrando Vida día a día. 



Colombia Flag
July 20, 1810
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