Robinson López Descanse

Climate Alliance Vice President from 2018 - 2020 | Coordinator for Climate Change and Biodiversity, COICA

We mourn your passing † 22.08.2020

Robinson López Descanse was a representative of the Inga people, born in the protected area of Chaluayaco in the municipality of Villagarzon Putumayo in Colombia. Like many residents in Putumayo, he was a victim of ongoing armed conflict, yet his perseverence led him to complete his studies as an auditor. He also held a diploma in International Reporting Standards and was pursuing an interdisciplinary Master in Sustainable Living Systems at the Externado University in Bogotá.

Since he was eight years old, López was involved in the organisational process of his community and occupied various positions within the structure of the protected area. Due to constant threats to his family, he had to leave the area and moved to the community of Puerto Caicedo in Putumayo where he graduated from high school. He led the organisational process of Inga of Villagarzon, where founded the the Association of Indigenous Councils of Villagarzon Putumayo ACIMVI. He went on to led this organsation for six years.

He led several court cases in defence of the territorial, social and cultural rights of the Inga people. He was the political leader of Minga of Resistance, which supports the rights of the indigenous peoples of Putumayo under the coordination of the Indigenous Territorial Organization of Putumayo OZIP. He fought several cases in defence of the territorial rights of the Inga people of Villagarzon, a peasant and African community in the Puerto Umbria sector. He served as Human Rights and Peace Representative of the National Organisation of the Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon (OPIAC), Commissioner of Rights before the National Commission for the Human Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Colombia (CNDDHHPIC) and technical assistant to the Permanent Round Table on National Coordination of the Indigenous Peoples of Colombia. He also led a major trial in the framework of territorial rights in favour of the indigenous peoples of the Colombian Amazon.

At the 2018 COICA Congress in Macapá, Brazil, he was unanimously appointed COICA Coordinator for Climate Change and Biodiversity for a period of four years.