It is the first time in COICA’s 38-year history that a woman will preside over the organisation that represents more than 500 indigenous peoples from 9 Amazonian countries.
Colombian indigenous leader Fany Kuiru Castro was unanimously elected as the new General Coordinator of the Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon Basin (COICA) for the period 2023-2027.
The decision is historic as it is the first time that a woman will lead the board of directors of the organisation that represents more than 500 indigenous peoples from nine Amazonian countries.
COICA announced the decision on 27 January and expressed their confidence that Fany Kuiru “with her sweet words and wise voice will guide our great maloka towards unity”.
Kuiru’s election as COICA coordinator comes after a chapter of internal division in the organisation that led its two potential male candidates to decline their candidacy.
In the midst of this episode, the indigenous women decided to present a consensus candidacy with a view to unifying the organisation and strengthening COICA’s institutionality.
The election took place during the Extraordinary Congress of COICA, held on 26 and 27 January in Quito, Ecuador, in the presence of its first founders.
Fany Kuiru will be accompanied by Jamner Manihuari, president of the Regional Coordinator of the Indigenous Peoples of San Lorenzo (CORPI-SL), from Peru, who was elected vice-coordinator of COICA.
Facts about Fany Kuiru
- Born in La Chorrera, Amazonas. She is an indigenous woman leader of the Uitoto people of the Jitomagaro clan, people of the sun of the Colombian Amazon, speaker of the Uitoto mɨnɨka mother tongue.
- She is a lawyer from the University of Santo Tomas de Aquino, specialised in Senior State Management and holds a Master’s degree in Political and International Studies.
- She is an expert in legal and political advice on issues related to public policy, indigenous peoples, women’s rights, economic, social and cultural rights, and gender.