Raúl Montoya Santamaría, Executive Director, Colectivo Chuhcan
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Raúl Montoya Santamaría is the Executive Director for the Colectivo Chuhcan since May 2011, the first organization of people with psychosocial disabilities in Mexico (organized and run by its members).
Montoya has participated in several national and international conferences and events, in which he has given his testimony and spoken about the Colectivo Chuhcan. At the international level, Montoya took part in the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy Conference (Philadelphia, 2011), at a Side Event at the fourth Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (New York, 2011), in a conference organized by American University on human trafficking in Mexico (Washington DC, 2011), and in the International Seminar on “Legal Capacity on the Field of Access to Justice and the Inclusion of Persons with a Psychosocial Disability” (Argentina, 2012). Montoya has also participated in a study tour organized by Disability Rights International in various states in the U.S. which focused on community based services and on the integration of people with disabilities in the society. In March 2012, Montoya participated at a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the systematic segregation and abuse of people with disabilities in Mexico. Montoya spoke in representation of those have been institutionalized in dangerous institutions which violate their rights.
At the national level, Montoya has also spoken in several Universities in Mexico and in events on disability issues. He has also given his psychiatric testimony and spoken about the organization in TV and radio shows.
Furthermore, Raúl Montoya has been a painter since childhood. In 1993 he graduated as a Professional Technician in Advertising Design at the National School of Graphic Arts; he has participated in different art exhibitions, and his work have been shown in places like the World Trade Center and the Museum of El Carmen, both in Mexico City. More recently he won the first place in an Art Contest called Sensibility without Limits. Additionally, he has been an English teacher since 2008.
Montoya lives with a psychosocial disability since 1992.