Colombia: ¿a tres meses de la paz?


El pasado mes de septiembre, el presidente de Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, y el máximo comandante de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, alias ‘Timochenko’, anunciaron la firma del acuerdo final de paz para el 23 de marzo del año próximo. Cuando faltan tres meses para que concluya el plazo dado para firmar la paz entre las FARC y Bogotá, la guerrilla ha dicho que en marzo de 2016 no se firmará la paz.

A pesar de este hecho, se siguen dando pasos hacia adelante. Uno de los más importantes ha sido el acuerdo sobre víctimas del conflicto armado que según ha declarado el jefe negociador del Gobierno colombiano, Humberto de la Calle, va a facilitar el fin del enfrentamiento con la guerrilla. Además ha dicho que con este pacto se ha solucionado el tema más complicado de la agenda de paz.

Abordamos el proceso de paz y sus perspectivas en Enfoque, Hispan TV.

Luis Esteban G. Manrique, analista internacional y periodista de Infolatam
Mabel González Bustelo, periodista, fellow de la Global South Unit for Mediation (GSUM)
Olgher Santodomingo, presidente del Comité de Defensa de DDHH de Colombia
Rodrigo Villamizar, ex ministro y ex diplomático colombiano

Book Review – Covering Bin Laden: Global Media and the World’s Most Wanted Man

Covering Bin Laden: Global Media and the World’s Most Wanted Man edited by Susan Jeffords and Fahed Al-Sumait. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2015. 259 pp, $95 hardcover 978-0-252-03886-0, $30 paperback 978-0-252-08040-1, E-book 978-0-252-09682-2

This review must start with a note of caution: this is not a book about Osama bin Laden. The aim of the editors and authors is not to add another interpretation on what bin Laden and Al Qaeda have been or, in the latter case, currently is. What they do here is take the real and symbolic figure of Osama bin Laden as a critical axis to explore the interplay between politics and media during the Global War on Terror. The result is a kaleidoscope that illuminates how news media represent and re-create reality and how those representations translate into concrete policy action.

As the title reminds us, Osama bin Laden became the world’s most wanted man in the decade from the 9/11 attacks to his capture and killing in Abbottabad (Pakistan) in 2011. Al Qaeda was presented as the paradigm of an entirely new type of terrorism: without parallel in history, and ready to kill as many civilians as they could in the name of some indiscernible millenarian views. Hunting bin Laden became the supreme goal. In pursuit of it, governments reshaped geopolitical relations and domestic politics, and launched wars.

You can continue reading in Global Policy Journal.

Fellow at the Global South Unit for Mediation (BRICS Policy Center) / Fellow de la Unidad del Sur Global para la Mediación

A quick note to inform you that I joining the Global South Unit for Mediation (GSUM) as a Fellow 2015. As a Fellow, I will contribute to the GSUM research and knowledge agenda, collaborate with other fellows and researchers and advance research on the challenges of international mediation in situations of hybrid and criminal violence and the role of the Global South. I will also teach courses on international mediation at the GSUM Winter School and participate in public activities and lectures.

The GSUM is a platform for research, training and learning about international mediation, aimed at the dissemination of knowledge and skills among academics, diplomats, public officers and non-governmental organizations of the Global South. The GSUM is based on a partnership among the Institute of International Relations of the PUC-Rio, the BRICS Policy Center and the Norwegian Embassy in Brazil.

It is an honour and a privilege to join this outstanding project. I will be based in Rio de Janeiro in July-August 2015. Updates about the fellowship will be published here.


Una nota rápida para informaros de que he sido seleccionada como Fellow 2015 por la Unidad del Sur Global para la Mediación (GSUM). Voy a contribuir a su agenda de investigación y conocimiento, cooperar con los demás Fellows y el equipo e investigar sobre los retos de la mediación internacional en contextos de violencia híbrida y criminal, y el posible papel de los países y actores del Sur. También voy a impartir cursos sobre mediación internacional en la Escuela de Invierno sobre Mediación, y participar en actividades públicas.

La GSUM es una plataforma para la investigación, formación y aprendizaje sobre la mediación internacional. Pretende generar y difundir conocimientos y competencias al respecto entre académicos, diplomáticos, funcionarios y actores no gubernamentales del Sur. La GSUM es resultado de un acuerdo entre el Instituto de Relaciones Internacionales de la Universidad PUC-Rio, el BRICS Policy Center y la Embajada de Noruega en Brasil.

Es un honor y un privilegio unirme a este proyecto, para lo que estaré ubicada en Río de Janeiro en julio y agosto de este año. Iré publicando actualizaciones sobre nuestras actividades en este blog.

El Salvador’s gang truce: a lost opportunity?

Violence is escalating again in El Salvador. March 2015 was the most violent month in over a decade, and the government is preparing army and police battalions to fight the gangs. These trends mark the definitive end of a process which started in 2012 with a truce between the two main gangs—MS-13 and Barrio 18—and evolved into a more complex and multidimensional approach to reducing violence, with a degree of international support.

The process was complicated, imperfect and subject to public controversy, but it stands as one of the most significant examples worldwide of an effort to reduce violence through negotiation with criminal groups. With an annual homicide rate of 60 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, El Salvador is one of the most violent countries in the world. It is also a notable example of the trend towards non-conventional, hybrid and criminal violence.

You can read the full article in Sustainable Security and Open Democracy. Thank you!

Book Review: International Mediation

International Mediation, by Paul F. Diehl and J. Michael Greig. Cambridge / Malden: Polity, 2012. 224 pp, £45 hardcover 978-0-7456-5330-3, £16.80 paperback 978-0-7456-5331-0, £11.99 e-book 978-0-7456-6144-5

The profile and use of international mediation as a tool to resolve conflicts has risen in last decades – particularly since the end of the Cold War. The range of actors involved includes states, multilateral organizations such as the UN and the African Union, non-governmental actors at diverse levels, and new bodies such as the Friends of Mediation in the UN General Assembly. As the practice evolves, a growing academic literature on international mediation addresses actors and their tools and strategies, trends, modalities of mediation, and contextual factors that influence the process.

J. Michael Greig and Paul F. Diehl are professors of Political Science with previous important contributions to research on international mediation as a conflict management tool. In this volume they draw upon an extensive review of the relevant contemporary literature, data analysis about mediation, and case studies of historical examples including Bosnia, Burundi, Northern Ireland and the Middle East. The result is a concise but systematic review of international mediation in interstate and civil conflicts. The definition used here is based in the distinguished feature of “the introduction of an outside party into the negotiation process between the disputing sides with, at least partially, the aim of producing a settlement” between them (p. 2). A critical element is its voluntary character, which makes mediation highly dependent on the nature and circumstances of the conflict and its actors.

You can continue reading in the Global Policy Journal.