CEO & Founder – Johana Bahamón
Second chances social activist for the prison and post-convict population in Colombia. Actress, businesswoman, founder and executive president of the Acción Interna Foundation.
Author of the books Historias Privadas de la Libertad (2020) and Segundas Oportunidades (2022) published by Editorial Planeta.
Promoter of the Second Opportunities Law (2208 of May 17, 2022), which establishes economic incentives to strengthen access and opportunities in employment and training for people who are released from prison.
Appointed by the Ministry of Justice and Law as Goodwill Ambassador to promote the resocialization and humanization of the penitentiary system (2014).
In 2000 she started her acting career. After participating in 15 productions and in her last leading role in the tv show Tres Milagros, she retired from acting to dedicate herself to work in prisons.
In 2012 she created a theater group in the Buen Pastor women’s prison in Bogotá, with which she began her connection to the prison sector. To date, with the Acción Interna Foundation, they have managed to benefit 112,000 people deprived of liberty in the 132 prisons in Colombia.
- In 2012 she created the Teatro Interno Foundation, today Acción Interna Foundation.
- She has made versions I, II, III, IV and V of the National Prison Theater Festival, with presentations for the public outside the prisons.
- Organizer of the first TEDx in a prison in Latin America: TEDx Buen Pastor: How to Turn Mistakes into Opportunities. (2015)
- Member of the Prison Dignity Committee of the Ministry of Justice and Law (2013).
- Co-founder of Casa Libertad, a space for post-convict care in alliance with the Ministry of Justice, INPEC and Colsubsidio. (2015)
- Founder of the first restaurant in the world open to the public in a women’s prison facility: INTERNO. (Cartagena, 2016)
- She has participated as a speaker at international IDB events; at the Women’s Forum for Society and Economy, in Deauville, France and Sao Pablo, Brazil; TEDx Women Bogota; Woman True North, in Mexico; Demand Solutions, in Miami; Women Economic Forum Latin America; McKenzie; International Penitentiary Congress organized by the United Nations Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, in Costa Rica; Harvard University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others.
- In 2017 she began working with the youth prison sector.
- Co-creator of the Agencia Interna, the first advertising agency inside a male prison in the world. (2019)
- In 2020, during the pandemic, she managed to impact with humanitarian aid the 120,000 people deprived of their liberty in the 132 prisons in the country, as well as the custody and surveillance personnel.
- Founder of the House of Second Opportunities in Bogotá. (2021)
Recognitions and Awards
- Nominated as one of the 30 Best Leaders in Colombia 2014, an award granted by Semana magazine, Telefónica and the Leadership and Democracy Foundation; a recognition for public leaders who have advanced Colombian society through positive change during the 2013-2014 period.
- In 2015, it was highlighted in “Women who contribute to Colombia” by the magazine Semana.
- In 2017 she was named Ambassador of Reconciliation by the OEI and Reconciliation Colombia.
- Winner of the EY (Ernst & Young) 2017 Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
- Portafolio Award for Community Contribution 2017.
- INTERNO restaurant is selected by TIME magazine among the 100 Best Places in the World 2018.
- Best Entrepreneur in Politika 2018 awards.
- Selected by the Obama Foundation for the meeting with former President Obama and ten young emerging leaders of Colombia.
- “International Women’s Prize 2019” award created by the International Leadership Forum, the National Chamber of Women of Mexico and the World Leaders Organization.
- “Outstanding Young Person 2019” Junior Chamber of Colombia.
- Inclusive Leader 2019″ Award granted by the ANDI Foundation and USAID , for the development of inclusive competitiveness strategies for vulnerable populations.
- Honorary Member of the Colombian Criminal Lawyers Association – March 2020.
- National “Cafam Woman 2020” Award
- Young Global Leader 2020 (YGL) of the World Economic Forum
- Ten Outstanding Young Person of the World – Toyp International 2020
- Person of the year El Espectador 2020
- Forbes Magazine’s The World’s 50 Most Powerful Women 2020
- Orden a la mujer y a la democracia Policarpa Salavarrieta 2020
- Bartolina Sisa Distinction, awarded by the Andean Parliament 2021