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CAPAZ working paper (6-2019): “The didactic management of sexualised violence in war. A look through the wars of dissolution in Yugoslavia as an example”

Cover of the CAPAZ Working Paper 06-2019

Introduction (extract):

Based within a historical and educational perspective, and using the example of the Yugoslav wars of dissolution –mainly the Bosnian war of 1992-1995—, this working paper addresses the question of the extent to which sexual or sexualised violence, as perpetrated en masse in the course of wars, civil wars, civil war-type conflicts, and comparable forms of armed conflict, constitutes an appropriate and significant object of historical learning.


Oliver Plessow

Professor of didactics of history at the University of Rostock, Germany, since 2015. Previously, PhD in medieval history from the University of Münster, Germany; academic collaborator in various research projects on the Middle Ages, lecturer at a vocational training institution, and professor of didactics of history at the University of Kassel for many years. His current research topics include historical learning in non-formal education and the didactic handling of mass crimes and dictatorial experiences. Contact:

Read the full CAPAZ working paper 6-2019 (in Spanish, PDF)

Plessow, O. The didactic management of sexualised violence in war. A look through the wars of dissolution in Yugoslavia as an example. CAPAZ Working Paper 6-2019. Bogotá, December 2019, 52 p. ISSN: 2711-0354

(Text NW008-2020: Claudia Maya, English version: Tiziana Laudato)


Konflikte konstruktiv bearbeiten: kolumbianische Fachkräfte informieren sich über politische Bildung in Deutschland

Welche Rolle kann politische Bildung für Friedensprozesse einnehmen? Diese Frage ist für Kolumbien aktuell von großer Bedeutung und auch in Deutschland soll politische Bildung verstärkt zum gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt beitragen. Die Potenziale und Grenzen der politischen Bildung für die Stärkung des gesellschaftlichen Miteinanders stehen im Fokus einer einwöchigen Delegationsreise von zwanzig kolumbianischen MultiplikatorInnen aus Zivilgesellschaft, Wissenschaft, Bildung, Medien und Politik nach Deutschland.

Auf Einladung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Katholisch-Sozialer Bildungswerke (AKSB) und dem Deutsch-Kolumbianischen Friedensinstitut/Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz (CAPAZ) informieren sie sich vom 13.-19. Januar 2020 über die Strukturen der politischen Bildung in Deutschland und diskutieren aktuelle Ansätze angesichts neuer Herausforderungen. Die Studienreise wird aus Mitteln der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (bpb) gefördert und führt die Gruppe unter anderem nach Berlin, wo die Teilnehmenden Einblicke in die Strukturen der außerschulischen Bildungsarbeit, unter anderem mit einem Fokus auf die Gedenkstättenpädagogik, erhalten. Braunschweig, Kassel und Gießen sind weitere Stationen der Gruppen. Sie lernen dort Ansätze der schulischen und außerschulischen und der digitalen politischen Bildungsarbeit kennen. Das Programm endet mit einem Wissenschafts-Praxis-Workshop zur politischen Bildung in Gießen.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters, Direktor des Instituto CAPAZ, stellt die Potenziale der politischen Bildung für die Stärkung des kolumbianischen Friedensprozesses heraus: „Der Friedensprozess eröffnet Kolumbien die Möglichkeit auf eine bessere Zukunft. Für die erfolgreiche Gestaltung des Friedens braucht es für alle gesellschaftlichen Gruppen Zugang zu einer unabhängigen politischen Bildung. Wir freuen uns, dass wir dank der Zusammenarbeit mit der AKSB einen deutsch-kolumbianischen Austausch zum Thema ermöglichen können.“ Der Geschäftsführer der AKSB, Dr. Karl Weber, macht auf die wechselseitigen Impulse zwischen den Teilnehmenden aus Deutschland und Kolumbien aufmerksam: „Austausch ist nie einseitig. Als außerschulischer Träger der politischen Bildungsarbeit liegt uns die Stärkung der Zivilgesellschaft am Herzen. Deutschland und Kolumbien können viel voneinander lernen.“


Dr. Karl Weber: (+49-0151/12246447) / Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters:

Pressemitteilung und Programm (PDF)

(PM der AKSB. Spanische Fassung: Claudia Maya)

Die Tagung fand im September 2019 an der Universidad Nacional in Bogotá statt. Foto: Luis Enrique Sierra/CAPAZ


Lesetipp: Germany and Colombia promote citizen political education in Colombia (English)

Im September 2019 veranstalteten das Instituto CAPAZ und das Zentrum Centro de Pensamiento Nicanor Restrepo Santamaría (CeNiRS) der Universidad Nacional de Colombia die internationale Tagung zum Thema politische Bildung in Kolumbien. Die Veranstaltung wurde von der bpb unterstützt. Gäste aus Deutschland waren der Präsident der bpb, Thomas Krüger, und Professor Dr. Bernd Overwien eingeladen.


Workshops and technical roundtables led by Kai Ambos and Iván Meini in the Special Jurisdiction for Peace

As part of the project Stabilization of peace in Colombia through Justice and Truth, developed by the German-Colombian Peace Institute CAPAZ and CEDPAL, Prof. Dr. Kai Ambos and Prof. Dr. Iván Meini conducted two workshops and technical roundtables at the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) On December 4 and 5, 2019, in Bogotá.

This project is coordinated by CAPAZ and the Centre for the Study of Latin American Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure (CEDPAL) of the University of Gottingen, with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Kai Ambos during his workshop at the JEP. Photo: Claudia Maya

Among the different initiatives that are part of the project, the workshops and technical tables have been proposed as spaces for dialogue and academic discussion of judges and other officials of the JEP with national and international experts on current issues that concern the challenges and interests of this Jurisdiction.

Worth Reading: ficha técnica del proyecto CAPAZ/CEDPAL con la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (JEP) y la Comisión para el Esclarecimiento de la Verdad (CEV) en Colombia (in Spanish)

On this occasion, Prof. Dr. Kai Ambos, Director of CEDPAL, Magistrate of the Special Court for Kosovo and amicus curiae of the JEP in Colombia held a workshop and technical roundtable on the Material Relationship to Armed Conflict and the Standard of Evidence.

For his part, Prof. Dr. Iván Meini, former Anti-Corruption Prosecutor of Peru, Prosecutor in the case of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori and current Director of the Masters in Criminal Law at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP), held a workshop and technical roundtable on Command Responsibility in Organised Apparatus of Power.

Prof. Dr. Iván Meini from Peru. Photo: Claudia Maya

The events were well attended, with the participation and interest of judges and officials of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), thus confirming the importance of the issues addressed by the guest experts.

Four additional workshops and technical roundtables with the JEP are planned for 2020, to work on topics of interest and relevance to international criminal law, transitional justice and restorative justice, and which will also include the participation of high-level experts.

(Text: Valentina Pardo, Claudia Maya, and Juliette Vargas, English version: Tiziana Laudato)


NETCAPAZ Platform Reaches 200 Researchers Registered in Peace and Conflict Studies

The NETCAPAZ platform of researchers specialised in conflict and peace issues has just registered its 200th researcher, thus becoming a key tool for academic and research cooperation between Colombia and Germany.

NETCAPAZ is a collaborative virtual space, designed and managed by the CAPAZ Institute, aimed at making visible the knowledge produced by Colombian and German researchers on issues related to peace studies, and generate new contacts to promote academic projects that promote reflection on building a peaceful society in Colombia.

Organised around 8 major thematic areas, the platform facilitates the search for investigators who approach the study of peace and conflict from different perspectives. The thematic areas that comprise the backbone of NETCAPAZ are: 1) ethnic communities and social groups; 2) victims’ rights; 3) human rights and international humanitarian law; 4) disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration; 5) social movements and struggles; 6) negotiation and peace processes; 7) mental health and psychosocial care; and 8) development and construction of territorial peace. NETCAPAZ also enables the dissemination of news and the creation of networks among the researchers who subscribe to it.


Image 1. Registered researchers specialised in conflict and peace issues and thematic areas


Currently, the thematic area with the most research expertise is “territorial peacebuilding and development”, in which more than 120 subscribers register research papers, followed by “social movements and struggles” and “negotiation and peace processes”.

The project has enjoyed the support of the institutional representatives of the CAPAZ partner universities, who participated in the definition of 112 key words that served to identify the thematic nodes from the information provided by the Colciencias ScienTI database. The CAPAZ Institute entered into an agreement with Colciencias to access information on articles, book chapters, dissemination products, research projects, and extension projects that were related to the keywords identified by CAPAZ. The eight main thematic areas were identified through a semantic analysis, based on this process.

Why join NETCAPAZ?

Through NETCAPAZ you can:

  1. Identify colleagues from Germany and Colombia who are working on peace issues related to Colombia and find out what their areas of research are.
  2. To become acquainted with the researchers who participate in the CAPAZ Institute network and the potential of their contribution to the construction of sustainable and lasting peace in Colombia.
  3. Disseminate information related to your research and academic events organised by your institution.
  4. Build academic and scientific cooperation networks within a vibrant peace research community involving Germany and Colombia.


If you are a peace researcher with a recognised academic production or practice in this field, we invite you to be part of NETCAPAZ. Register via web, wait for your application to be evaluated and become part of a vibrant German and Colombian research community.


For more information and registration:


(Text: Carlos Nupia, English version: Tiziana Laudato)


CAPAZ Working Paper: “Territorial Peace: Connecting Moral Imagination and Geographic Imagination”

Cover of the CAPAZ Working Paper 5-2019


Based on the concepts-practices of social organisations, peace is a political process that consists of (re)appropriating a geographic space to develop an economic-cultural project of dignified life, which is ecologically sustainable, and protected from violence and war. The search for peace is territorial because the purpose of dealing with violence is translated into the goal that the territory -that materially and symbolically appropriate living space- will again -or for the first time- fulfil the collective functions that it has lost through the armed conflict. Communities have two interconnected resources with which to restore the collective functions of the living space: their moral imagination and their geographical imagination. The document shows what these two dimensions consist of and how they are connected, arguing that this understanding of territorial peace as a conjunction of moral imagination and geographical imagination is a political-epistemological innovation in the field of peace studies.


Territorial peace; geographical imagination; moral imagination; peacebuilding in Colombia; social movements.



Luis Peña

PhD in social geography and researcher at the Jena Centre for Reconciliation Studies. Researcher and professor at Universidad Externado de Colombia. Co-founder and member of the Critical Geography of Latin American Root group Georaizal. Contact:


Click here to read CAPAZ Working Paper 5-2019 (in Spanish)

Peña, L. Paz territorial: conectando imaginación moral e imaginación geográfica (Territorial Peace: Connecting Moral Imagination and Geographic Imagination). CAPAZ Working Paper 5-2019. Bogotá, November 2019, 52 p. ISSN: 2711-0354


(Text: Claudia Maya, Text in English: Tiziana Laudato)


New CAPAZ and CEDPAL researchers to strengthen the work of CEV

Meeting between the researchers hired by CAPAZ and the CEV’s Knowledge Directorate. Photo: Valentina Pardo

In cooperation with CEDPAL, the German-Colombian Peace Institute – CAPAZ will strengthen the work of the Directorate of Knowledge of the Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition (CEV) by hiring Luis Carlos Sánchez and Luis Miguel Buitrago, researchers specialised in democracy and armed conflict.

On November 6, 2019, the investigators met with the CEV’s Directorate of Knowledge to coordinate the commencement of the investigations that each of them will carry out in different parts of the country, in order to contribute to the clarification of the truth about the armed conflict in Colombia.

The work of both researchers will take place in the context of the signing of the Letter of Understanding by CAPAZ and CEV, and in the development of the project entitled “Stabilisation of peace in Colombia through justice and truth”, financed by the German Federal Foreign Office and led by CAPAZ and CEDPAL of the University of Göttingen.

You may also be interested in: Letter of Understanding between CAPAZ and the Truth Commission in Colombia



Luis Carlos Sánchez is a political scientist, historian and philosophy professor with experience in research on memory, armed conflict, justice systems and transitional justice. He was part of the research team of the Grupo de Memoria Histórica and the Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica (CNMH), where he was involved in several publications, including the report: “Basta ya. Colombia: memories of war and dignity”. He also served as the coordinator for the Working Group on Reparations and as the Technical Director of the Museum of Historical Memory at the CNMH.


Luis Miguel Buitrago is a researcher in the area of civil wars, political sociology and international relations. His undergraduate degree was in sociology and he studied a master’s degree in Political Studies at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where he is also part of the research group “Armed actors, conflict, and international humanitarian law”. He has studied statistics, georeferencing and experience in the field of political marketing and the construction of public policies.


(Text: Valentina Pardo, Claudia Maya, English version: Tiziana Laudato)


CAPAZ Policy Brief 5-2019: Conocimiento, investigación científica y construcción de paz

El presente Policy Brief, publicado en noviembre de 2019 por el Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz – CAPAZ (5-2019) brinda algunos elementos conceptuales para entender la compleja relación entre producción de conocimiento y construcción de paz, y plantea recomendaciones para que las políticas públicas fomenten una interacción más eficaz entre las diversas fuentes de conocimiento existentes en torno a la construcción de una sociedad en paz.


Alejandro Balanzó. Profesor titular en la Universidad Externado de Colombia. Doctor en Gobernanza del Conocimiento y la Innovación de la Universidad de Twente (Países Bajos). Contacto:

Carlos Mauricio Nupia. Director Administrativo del Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz (CAPAZ). Doctor en Ciencia Política de la Universidad Libre de Berlín (Alemania). Contacto:

Juan Pablo Centeno. Asistente de Investigación en la Universidad Externado de Colombia. Magister en Gobierno y Políticas Públicas de la Universidad Externado de Colombia. Contacto:


Balanzó, A., Nupia, C.M., Centeno, J.P. Conocimiento investigación científica y construcción de paz. Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz – CAPAZ, PB 5-2019. Bogotá, 2019, 10  p. ISSN: 2711-0346

CAPAZ Policy Brief 5-2019 (In Spanish)


CAPAZ 2019 Young Researchers Congress Programme



Together with Universidad de Antioquia, and in partnership with the University of Groningen, CAPAZ is pleased to share the programme for the International Congress of Young Researchers, which will take place at the Ciudad Universitaria in Medellín on November 6-7, 2019. 

This year’s version of the congress is entitled “Peace and Post-Conflict Narratives in University Research”, and will be held during the week of cooperation and joint work between professors and researchers at Universidad de Antioquia, the University of Groningen (Netherlands) and the CAPAZ Institute.

The purpose of the congress is one the one hand to present the experiences, projects and research studies of young master’s and doctoral students in Colombia, whose work addresses some of the phenomena of peacebuilding and transition processes in Colombia.

On the other hand, the academic event also encourages the strengthening of joint initiatives between the above-mentioned universities and the CAPAZ Institute, with emphasis on cooperation and the development of peacebuilding projects in the department of Antioquia.


The academic programme for the CAPAZ 2019 Congress of Young Researchers includes several panels including a panel of researchers from the University of Groningen; three panels of young researchers on a) peace, conflicts and territorial reconfigurations, b) transitional justice and human rights, and c) memory and education.

Researchers Axel Rojas (Universidad del Cauca), Gabriel Alberto Ruíz (Universidad de Medellín), and Yesid Reyes (Universidad Externado de Colombia) will give keynote lectures during the Congress.

We would also like to highlight the presentation of a mapping of the Universities’ peacebuilding research projects: articulation and coordination for peacebuilding.


Take a look at the programme for the 2019 CAPAZ Congress of Young Researchers (in Spanish).


For more information:


(Text: Claudia Maya, English version: Tiziana Laudato).


First workshop of the JEP and CEV accompaniment project

Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters. Photo: Claudia Maya/CAPAZ

On October 3 and 4, 2019, CAPAZ, together with the Centre for the Study of Latin American Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure (CEDPAL) of the University of Göttingen, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) and the Truth Commission (CEV) held a workshop entitled “Dialogue with universities on reporting to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) and the Truth Commission (CEV)” at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) in Bogotá.

The workshop is one of the activities developed as part of the project entitled “Stabilisation of Peace in Colombia through Justice and Truth”, aimed at strengthening the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition (SIVJRNR), which receives funding from the German Federal Foreign Office.

Regional dialogue between institutions and academia

The main achievement of the October 2019 conference was to open up a dialogue involving representatives of the state institutions JEP and CEV -created as a result of the Final Agreement signed in Havana in 2016- and professors from CAPAZ associate universities located in different parts of Colombia.

Representatives of CEV, JEP and the Procuraduría participated in the workshop. Photo: Claudia Maya/CAPAZ

Submission of reports

Teachers with experience in issues related to working with victims, violence and post-conflict were trained by members of JEP and the CEV to write reports according to their guidelines.

The reports will be used as input for the institutions’ execution of the tasks. In this respect, they must comply with certain parameters and take into account the thematic axes of the research carried out by these institutions.

The importance of these documents lies in the fact that, on the one hand, they come from professionals and entities that work hand in hand with communities and human rights and victims’ organisations. On the other hand, they contribute to the construction of a polyphonic truth, since they allow the victims’ voices, their experiences and views that respond to the country’s different realities to reach state institutions and have an impact on them.

Group of participants. Photo: Claudia Maya/CAPAZ

Contribution of the academia in the regions

The participants in the event and their universities, are key actors: through their own research projects and the close work with the communities and human rights and victims’ organisations of their regions, they could enable the preparation of rigorous documents that reflect the voice of each community or entity and narrate the violence experienced, with a possible impact on the key state institutions in the SIVJRNR.


Other workshops and activities will be held within the framework of this project, as will the production of publications. The following workshop, which will take place during the last weeks of November 2019, will be a replica of the first one addressed to CAPAZ partner universities in Bogotá.

Further information:

Astrid Orjuela:
Valentina Pardo:


(Text: Valentina Pardo, Claudia Maya, English version: Tiziana Laudato).