Regional Program Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, IGLHRC
María Mercedes Gómez is a Colombian academic and human rights activist whose work has focused on exploring the challenges of understanding, preventing, and reducing violence based on sexual prejudices in the U.S. and Latin America. María holds a Ph.D. in political science, as well as an M.A. in gender studies and feminist theory from the New School for Social Research. She taught for many years at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, as well as in universities in Canada. She is general coordinator for RED-ALAS, a group of law professors and lawyers that promotes curricula in gender and sexuality in Latin American law schools. María has also served on the legal team and the Board of Directors of Proyecto Colombia Diversa, an NGO dedicated to promoting human rights of LGBTI communities in Colombia.
Through her writings on violence based on prejudice and training workshops, María has promoted awareness of LGBTI violence among law professors, law enforcement agents, and representatives from the criminal justice system in Latin America.