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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 2019 Young Researchers Congress: Interdisciplinary and International Perspective on Young Research on Peace in Colombia

Participants in the CAPAZ 2019 Young Researchers Congress in Medellín. Photo: U de A


Seven master’s and doctoral students from various universities in Colombia participated in the second version of the CAPAZ International Congress of Young Researchers, held on November 6 and 7, 2019. The students’ proposals were selected on the basis of a call for proposals.

The young researchers Natalia Maya Llano (Universidad de Antioquia), Sandra Botero Delgado (Universidad de Caldas), Ginna Rivera Rodríguez (Universidad de los Andes), Carolina Giraldo (Universidad de Caldas), Melissa Martínez (Universidad del Norte); and the young researchers Brayan Andrés López Matamoros (Universidad Nacional de Colombia) and Jaime Andrés Parra Ospina (Universidad de Antioquia), presented their research projects and discussed their progress with each other and together with expert academics.

The CAPAZ science collaborator and CEDPAL researcher (University of Göttingen), Juliette Vargas also presented the advances of her doctoral research.

The International Congress of Young Researchers CAPAZ 2019 was organised by the CAPAZ Institute and Universidad de Antioquia, an associate member of CAPAZ, and was held at Ciudad Universitaria in Medellín.

Research lines

The exchange of ideas on the proposals and constructive criticism were guided by three outstanding experts in the lines of research developed by CAPAZ: Axel Rojas (Universidad del Cauca) worked on the “peace, conflicts and territorial reconfigurations” axis; John Zuluaga (Universidad Sergio Arboleda) on the “Transitional Justice and Human Rights” axis, and Gabriel Alberto Ruíz (Universidad de Medellín) on the “peace building: memory and education” axis.

The agenda included a panel of experts from the University of Groningen (Netherlands), who discussed issues of memory, conflict and post-conflict digital narratives from Peru, Chile and Colombia.

Interdisciplinary debate with a view to co-operation

One of the most important issues to emerge from the two days of intense research and academic debate on issues related to conflict and peace, with emphasis on the situation in Colombia  was the importance of developing research from different disciplines and approaches, to bring academia closer to the country’s social, political and economic reality.

From the CAPAZ Institute, we continue to affirm our interest in continuing to promote cooperation networks between different universities in Colombia, Germany, and other countries around peacebuilding in Colombia. We hope to continue with future versions of this important academic space for young researchers, and for experts and the interested public.

The Young Researchers Congress is one of the most important CAPAZ activities. The accomplishment of this second congress, in cooperation with Universidad de Antioquia, demonstrates the consolidation of research spaces for the new generation of peace researchers in Colombia.

(Text: Juliette Vargas, Claudia Maya, Carlos Nupia, English version: Tiziana Laudato)


Forum: Women in Truth Commissions in Peru and Colombia


The forum entitled “Women in Truth Commissions in Peru and Colombia: Challenges, Learnings, and Recommendations for the Colombian Case” will take place on Thursday, November 28, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Universidad de los Andes (Room SD1003) in Bogotá.

This is the first CAPAZ supported event related to the research project on truth commissions and gender.

During the event, the Recommendations Document for the inclusion of the gender perspective in the Truth Commission in the Colombian Caribbean will be presented within the framework of the research coordinated by CIDER entitled “Inclusion of the effects experienced by women and their resistance processes in the Truth Commissions of Peru and Colombia: Retro and prospective views of transitional justice”.

The main objectives of the forum are to present the Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition (CEV) and the High-Level Instance for the follow-up to the implementation of the gender approach, proposals and recommendations of the women’s organisations of victims of the Caribbean region, and to strengthen the work of women and victims so that they can participate in the Integral System and in peacebuilding.

As part of the agenda, the CAPAZ Science Collaborator, Juliana González Villamizar, will present the project on truth commissions in Peru and Colombia. International researchers from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú will also participate.

Admission is free with prior registration through the online form

Download the forum agenda (in Spanish)

More information and contact:

Cider – Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios sobre Desarrollo // Tel: (57-1) 339 4949 Ext.: 2665-2656

Instituto CAPAZ –


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


“Writing to reinvent yourself”: Publication of brief for CAPAZ supported project on autobiographical writing

Cover of “Escribir para reinventarse”

In the 2018 open call to fund research projects, CAPAZ supported a project led by the Research Centre and the Department of Psychology at the School of Social and Human Sciences, Universidad de Antioquia.

The project consisted of investigating the effects of autobiographical writing by victims of violence (almost all women). The group of writers later also welcomed a man who, like them, had had similar experiences of pain and who also shared with them the desire to write.

We are pleased to present the recently published journal “Writing to Reinvent Yourself” (Escribir para reinventarse), which brings together the project approach, development, and conclusions or findings.

Writing to Reinvent Yourself” Journal (in Spanish)

The publication also includes the stories told in first person and the creative texts of the project participants. The testimonies are an image of a very powerful inner process experienced by the victims, who went from being passive to generating a dialogue between themselves and the readers of their creations.

In the words of one of the writers, Mary Luz López: “’Books are for the rich’, my mother used to tell me as she looked at the large library in the house where she worked as a maid. There were all kinds of books there, but touching them was not allowed, they belonged to the employers, and I grew up thinking they were unreachable (…) Years passed. I had never written before, but at one point I was very ill, and I was heartbroken over losing my husband (…) writing is best friend because it has helped me to get to know myself, it has given me a chance to achieve things I didn’t think I could (…) Now I know that books aren’t just for the rich”.

Searches and some research findings

One of the objectives of the investigation was to explore the resignification of the past. But, the dynamics of the violence in Colombia and the development of the project itself made it clear that the past was still present in the participating victims.

In spite of the weight of the past, “it is not a question of being a bearer of memories of violence, these spaces recover other meanings, of recognising themselves as people who have crossed a path and can now speak about it; more than about violence, they narrate the ways in which they have reconstructed their lives”.

Another important finding was the powerful relationship between the written word, manual art and staging. A collective narrative was written based on personal stories, a testimony of the country’s memory through writing, painting, weaving, and theatrical performances.

Mary Luz López hopes that “this study by Universidad de Antioquia and CAPAZ will be useful for students, professors, professionals, organisations, people who like to write, and for those who came to see what this is all about”.

Pages of “Escribir para reinventarse”

Research project

The coordinating group for the study entitled “Autobiographical writing, subjective reparation and the construction of memory in women living in Medellín who are victims of the political violence” is made up of María Orfaley Ortiz Medina (research coordinator), Mauricio Bedoya (co-investigator), and Victoria Eugenia Díaz Faciolince (co-investigator). Also participating were Mauricio López (assistant) and Juliana Berrío (psychology practitioner), trainee students who supported the research activities.

The proposal presented to the CAPAZ Institute was endorsed by Dr. Tatjana Louis (Associate Professor at Universidad de los Andes), Luis Carlos Jiménez Reyes (Associate Professor at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá), and Prof. Dr. Verena Dolle (Justus Liebig University Giessen).


More information and contact:

María Orfaley Ortiz Medina (Universidad de Antioquia):


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


Comments by the CAPAZ Academic Director on the current situation in Latin America for the German channel HR

Screenshot hr-iNFO online

Mass protests on the streets of Santiago de Chile, Quito, La Paz, and other cities; the seemingly unstoppable wave of Venezuelan migration, mainly to neighbouring Colombia and, recently, the resignation and exile to Mexico of Bolivia’s President Evo Morales.

“Der Kontinent der Krisen: Südamerika in Aufruhr” (free translation into English: “The Continent of Crises: South America in turmoil”) is a report by hr iNFO, Hessischer Rundfunk, the German regional Hesse network, on social and economic policies in countries such as Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia and Bolivia.

The CAPAZ Academic Director and Professor of Peace Studies at the Justus Liebig University Giessen, Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters was interviewed by hr iNFO on the topic.

In the interview, Prof. Peters argued that civil society in Latin America is simply fed up with extreme inequalities and the lack of effective social rights. In this scenario, upward mobility for the most disadvantaged and a narrowing of the gap around these inequalities is unlikely. Prof. Peters also provides an analysis and offers explanations on possible solutions to the current conditions in Latin America.

Listen to Prof. Peters’ full interview with hr-iNFO on the crisis in South America (in German).

The case of Bolivia

And what to say concretely about the situation in Bolivia? The situation in Bolivia is very unclear following the resignation and exile to Mexico of Evo Morales, one of the most visible presidents in Latin America.

“Bangen um Bolivien. Revolte im Land der Rohstoffe” (free translation into English: “Uncertainty for Bolivia. Protests in the country of raw materials”) is the second hr-iNFO report, published in its special issue on current affairs in Latin America.

The CAPAZ Academic Director, Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters, was consulted on this occasion too, specifically on the risks and likelihood of violence in Bolivia escalating in the following days or weeks. Prof. Peters also refers to the extreme social inequalities and racism towards indigenous peoples in the country, to which the administration of Evo Morales as president responded with protectionist economic reforms and greater visibility.

Listen to Prof. Peters’ full interview with hr-iNFO on the crisis in Bolivia (in German).

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


“Der Kontinent der Krisen: Südamerika in Aufruhr”. Autor: hr-iNFO. Publicado el 07.11.19, Hessischer Rundfunk, 20:34 min. Recuperado el 13.11.2019 de: [,podcast-episode-60020.html].

“Bangen um Bolivien. Revolte im Land der Rohstoffe”. Autor: hr-iNFO. Publicado el 12.11.19, Hessischer Rundfunk, 19:42 min. Recuperado el 13.11.2019 de: [,podcast-episode-60268.html].


CAPAZ Working Paper: “The art of memory – The memory of art”

Cover of the CAPAZ Working Paper 4-2019

“For over thirty years, I have been working as a memory artist and have tried to develop, often in joint projects with Andreas Knitz, new forms of the monument. Our works became known as negative monuments (Negativ-Denkmale in German) or Counter-Monuments. They are not erected on pedestals, nor are they cast in bronze or carved in marble. They deal with emptiness, loss, and silence. Like most post-war German children, I also grew up with silence about National Socialist war crimes and the Holocaust. But children feel the silence in the family, they feel the taboo, and later, as teenagers and adults, they barge in with their questions and never stop for the rest of their lives. That’s how it is with me. In this document, I would like to summarise some of my works with negative monuments or counter-monuments”.

CAPAZ presents the working document (04-2019) dedicated to the theme of memory and art, from the perspective of the German artist Horst Hoheisel.


Horst Hoheisel was born in 1944 in Poznan, Poland. He first studied forest sciences and earned a doctorate with an ecosystem analysis of a tropical rainforest in Venezuela. Simultaneously he studied arts at the Kassel School of Arts, and since 1980 has been working as a freelance artist and visiting professor at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. Together with Andreas Knitz, he has created numerous new forms of monuments, including in Latin America. Horst Hoheisel lives and works in Kassel and Berlin.


Hoheisel, H. The Art of Memory – The Memory of Art. CAPAZ, Working Paper 4-2019. Bogotá, 2019, 24 p. ISSN: 2711-0354

CAPAZ Working Paper 4-2019 (In Spanish)

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


CAPAZ in the 100th Issue of Doing Business

Cover 100th Issue of Doing Business

In November 2019, the German-Colombian Chamber of Commerce (AHK) published the 100th edition of its magazine Doing Business. The magazine circulates in Colombia with the newspaper Portafolio, one of the most popular economic and business news publications in Colombia.

As part of the special editorial on Germany in Colombia in this issue, CAPAZ is featured as one of the institutions and organisations of German cooperation and presence in Colombia.

We invite you to read the contribution entitled “Peace requires social development“, written by Academic Director, Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters about CAPAZ and its mission in Colombia and Germany (page 20).

We congratulate the German-Colombian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK) for making it to the 100th edition of its magazine Doing Business, which, for 23 years has reported on the close and fruitful commercial relationship between Colombia and Germany. In the words of Thorsten Kötschau, Executive President of the AHK: “Together we are privileged to contribute a little to the development of the Colombia that embraces us today.”

Download the 100th issue of Doing Business Magazine (in Spanish).

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


Conversatorio sobre Reforma Rural Integral con moderación del Director Académico de CAPAZ

El martes, 12 de noviembre de 2019, a las 5:00 p.m. en la Universidad Nacional de Colombia en Bogotá (Auditorio Armando Bermúdez García de la Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Edificio 500) tendrá lugar el conversatorio titulado: “¿Ese tal acuerdo existe? Incertidumbre frente a la implementación de la Reforma Rural Integral”.

Los panelistas invitados son Flavio Rodríguez (Director Geografía – U. Externado); Pastor Alape (Delegado Partido FARC al CNR); Alix Morales (Lideresa – ACIT) y Eberto Díaz (Líder – FENSUAGRO). La moderación estará a cargo del Director Académico del Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz – CAPAZ, Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters.

La entrada es libre.

El evento es una invitación del Instituto CAPAZ, el Grupo de Investigación Estudios Rurales y Soberanía Alimentaria – ERSoA y la Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Más información


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)


Institutional advances of CAPAZ supported project at UTP

Photo: website UTP

The research project entitled “Persistence of community links and the construction of processes of memory and peace. The Quinchía case in the Risaralda department” was one of the projects supported by CAPAZ in the 2018 call.

This project is led by Alberto Berón, professor at Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira (UTP), in alliance with Professor Jefferson Jaramillo of the School of Sociology at Universidad Pontificia Javeriana (PUJ), and with the participation of the Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, in Germany.

As part of UTP’s validation of this research, a meeting was recently held at the university with students from both Colombian universities participating in the project (UTP and PUJ) and with historian Alfredo Cardona Tobón.

On Saturday, November 2, 2019, the Casa de la Cultura in Quinchía hosted the validation of testimonies, an activity carried out with some of the inhabitants of the municipality and participants in the project.

Newsletter on the UTP Web page (in Spanish).

Contact at UTP:


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