Berenice Celeyta Alayon

Colombia

Berenice Celeyta Alayon attributes the beginning of her human rights activism to the 1985 Palace of Justice siege in which M-19 guerrillas took the Supreme Court of Colombia hostage, killing 11 of its 25 justices. At the time Celeyta was a freshman in college and lost several of her professors.

She later founded NOMADESC, a non-governmental organization dedicated to working with communities suffering from violence and oppression and defending the rights of Afro-descendants, IDPs and victims of the armed conflict.