Margoth Valencia, Director Association of Women Victims of Enforced Disappearance of Nariño (AMVIDENAR), Colombia

On leadership:

“I like to help others, it makes me happy to see others happy. It is also important to acquire new knowledge and prepare oneself to be able to interact with others. It gives us the opportunity to grow in the society as well as at our Association of Women Victims of Forced Disappearance of Nariño (AMVIDENAR). At AMVIDENAR, we participate and bring forward new ideas.


My role as a leader is to accompany, represent and make decisions in areas AMVIDENAR participates in order to move forward so that we can meet our objectives with the utmost security. I think that’s what makes good leadership.”


On achievements:

“There are several achievements that make me feel proud, a few are:

  • To have given four families the happiness of finding their missing loved ones alive.
  • Being the pioneers in the department of Nariño and the Municipality of Pasto in making visible the forced disappearance with sit-ins, marches and a touring gallery.
  • Participating in round tables, such as the Working Table of Prevention and Assistance of the Department of Nariño of Disappearance and the Table of Effective Participation of Victims of the Municipality of Pasto in two consecutive periods.
  • Being part of the UBPD Advisory Council.
  • The Garden of Memory Initiative “Seeds of Peace”.
  • Video Documentary “Voices of Silence”.
  • An internship agreement was signed with the International University of the Atlantic in Madrid-Spain for the Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution and Mediation.
  • The Association, in conjunction with academia, developed a psychosocial care practice at the psychosocial care center for victims of the Cesmag University in the municipality of Pasto.
  • A therapeutic family mediation protocol was developed by AMVIDENAR and the International University of Puerto Rico.
  • Strategic alliance between MAPP OEA and the Ombudsman’s Office that allowed us to approach children and adolescents from different schools, raising awareness about forced disappearance.


On challenges:

“There are many challenges among which I would like to highlight the balance between the different roles I play in my daily life as a woman. First, as a mother, being aware of my daughter’s activities, guiding her and taking care of her. It is difficult for me since she has a special condition so she must be with me at all times. Add to that my role as a wife, worker and of course my role as a leader.”

Advice to female leaders:

“My advice is to never give up trying to reach your goal, to continue fighting until you achieve it. The fight will always be worth it. The first step of assuming leadership has already been taken: now what’s important is to continue working and searching for our disappeared until we find them.”