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“Remembering, forgetting, speaking, silencing. The social management of conflictive pasts” is the third working document published by CAPAZ in 2019. Its author is Tatjana Louis, researcher and associate professor at the School of Social Sciences at Universidad de los Andes. Her research emphasis focuses on the development of historical awareness, and the teaching and learning of history.


In societies in transition, historical memory is an instrument for the symbolic reparation of victims, the clarification of truth, and the goal of social reconciliation. However, the work of memory in a society goes beyond the time limits of transitional justice and presents a challenge for different generations. Based on the analysis of manuals for teaching history in various historical periods, this text addresses the long-term social management of painful pasts in two different contexts: in Colombia, the period of La Violencia; and in Germany, the Nazi dictatorship and the legacy of the German Democratic Republic. The manuals show what society considers necessary to teach future generations. At the same time, they serve as a mirror of today’s society. An analysis of training processes in schools can therefore shed light on the social development of a historical memory.


Download the CAPAZ working paper 3-2019, written by Tatjana Louis (In Spanish, German-Colombian Peace Institute – CAPAZ, Bogotá: 2019, 41 p.).

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



The working document entitled “Civic education in Germany: Development and aspects of the current discussion” is CAPAZ’ most recent publication (Working Document 2-2019). Its author is Prof. Dr. Bernd Overwien, professor of civic education didactics at the University of Kassel, Germany. In the introduction, Prof. Dr. Overwien brings us closer to the definition of the concept in the German-speaking context:

‘Politische Bildung’ is the term used in German-speaking countries to refer to school and extra-curricular learning activities that prepare or accompany students in the management of politics by acquiring appropriate knowledge and skills. In this respect, political education moves in a relationship of tensions between pedagogy and politics. (Fischer 1972; Mambour 2007, p. 9). Political education is by no means limited to certain age groups: natural and social science classes in primary school prepare students at an early age (6-10 years) to deal with political and social science issues. Civic education as a whole has, in recent decades, resorted to social science knowledge and methods. However, civic education is older and the corresponding lines of progress are drawn and developed in this working paper. The central debates will be outlined on this basis, and finally discussed with a view to current discussions in Colombia”.

Download the CAPAZ working paper on civic education in Germany, written by Prof. Dr. Bernd Overwien (in Spanish, German-Colombian Peace Institute – CAPAZ, Bogotá: 2019. 30 p.).

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



Carolina Galindo, professor of social sciences at Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia, and spokeswoman for this university at CAPAZ, spoke with the German regional news network WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) about a year with (or without) Iván Duque.

The interview focuses on the analysis of three axes: security, governance and foreign policy.


Listen to the full interview with Professor Carolina Galindo (In Spanish, duration: 16:56 Min. Available until: 09.08.2020. Recovered from: []).


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



Screenshot DW Online

How close are we to tensions over FARC dissidents turning into a conflict with Venezuela?

Full interview of the Spanish-language news services, from Berlin, of the German channel Deutsche Welle interview with CAPAZ Director Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters.

(In Spanish, 05.09.2019. Recovered from: []

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



DW Online

“It is still impossible to measure the impact of the announcement of the rearmament of the dissident FARC group, but it is time for the Peace Agreement to be a real priority for the government and the entire country, say experts”.

One of them was CAPAZ Director, Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters, who in an interview with the German channel Deutsche Welle referred to the situation in Colombia as follows: “There is no alternative to peace”. If the Government of Colombia wants to promote the development it is aiming for, it can only achieve it if it assumes peace as a real priority”.

Read the full interview (in Spanish).


Colombia after former FARC video: “There is no alternative to peace”, Deutsche Welle (José Ospina-Valencia, August 30, 2019) interview with Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters. Recovered from: []

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


FARC: Kolumbiens Krieger kehren zurück

DW Online

“Der Friedensprozess ist nicht tot”, meint hingegen der Direktor des Deutsch-Kolumbianischen Instituts CAPAZ in Bogotá, Stefan Peters, und verweist darauf, dass man nicht wisse, wie viele Kämpfer sich dem Aufruf des Ex-Kommandanten Márquez anschließen werden. Es käme jetzt darauf an, die große Zahl von Ex-FARC-Kämpfern bei der Reintegration in die Gesellschaft zu unterstützen und den Friedensprozess gerade in dieser Situation zu stärken und weiterzuentwickeln.

“Diese Nachricht stärkt sicher denjenigen in Kolumbien den Rücken, die sich schon zuvor kritisch zum Friedensprozess geäußert haben”, so Peters. Auch in Hinblick auf die kommenden Kommunal- und Regionalwahlen im Oktober sei die FARC-Ankündigung Wasser auf den Mühlen der Hardliner.

Lesen Sie das DW-Interview mis Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters (Deutsche Welle Online, 30. August 2019). Quelle: []


Juliana González Villamizar’s academic stay in Germany

Juliana González (o.t.right) in Germany. Photo: cortesía Juliana González

Juliana González Villamizar, CAPAZ science collaborator and doctoral candidate at Justus Liebig University Giessen travelled to Germany in July 2019 to take part in different academic events and activities.

Lecture at the KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt

In the workshop on Memory and transitional Justice in Colombia and Latin America, organised by Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and CAPAZ, Juliana González presented her lecture: “Memory, social inequalities and intersectionality in the work of truth commissions”, resulting from her on-going doctoral research. In her lecture, González described the work of truth commissions in South Africa, Guatemala, and Peru in the face of social inequalities. She proposed a reflection on the potentialities and challenges of the Truth Clarification Commission (CEV) in Colombia to implement intersectional approaches in its historical analysis of the armed conflict.

Memory workshop in Berlin

In Berlin, Juliana González attended the workshop: “Commemoration and remembrance. Processes of historical memory construction and State legitimacy”, organised by CAPAZ, Freie Universität Berlin and Universidad de Medellín. Her paper: “Women’s struggles for memory in truth commissions” discussed truth commissions as state scenarios for the construction and articulation of women’s memories in societies that seek to elaborate past and present violence.

Women’s peace movements in Latin America

At Justus Liebig University Giessen, Juliana González taught undergraduate and graduate students the seminar: “Between Machismo and Emancipation: Women, Violence and Peace in Latin American History, Politics, and Culture” (Zwischen Machismo und Emanzipation: Frauen, Gewalt und Frieden in Geschichte, Politik und Kultur Lateinamerikas).

The topics discussed included the contexts of violence and repression in Latin America during the last decades and the influence that women and their social movements have had on the enforceability of women’s human rights, the duty of memory, and the transformation of a culture strongly marked by machismo and racial discrimination. Some examples cited were the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, the National Summit of Women and Peace in Colombia, and territorial community feminisms in Bolivia and Guatemala.

Memory and gender in the perspective of cultural studies

Also in Giessen, Juliana González visited the Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), where she presented a lecture as part of the biannual series of meetings (Research Network in Queer Studies, Decolonial Feminisms, and Cultural Transformations). Her talk proposed a discussion on the uses of gender and intersectionality in different contexts and their possibilities in the face of achieving feminist transformations.

By invitation of the GCSC working group on memory, Juliana González participated in various debates on the role of memory and education for human rights in contexts of political transition, on the occasion of Professor Andre Keet’s visit to Giessen from Nelson Mandela University in South Africa.

(Text: Juliana González Villamizar. Revision: Claudia Maya. English version: Tiziana Laudato)


CAPAZ Administrative Director visits Germany to explore cooperation ties

Dr. Carlos Nupia (left) and the Colombian Ambassador in Germany. Foto: Carlos Nupia

In his recent visit to Germany, the CAPAZ Administrative Director, Dr. Carlos Nupia had a varied agenda of activities with different institutions and universities.

Dr. Nupia met with the Colombian Ambassador to Germany, Hans-Peter Knudsen, the Association of German Foundations (Bunderverband Deutscher Stiftungen) and Karsten Gerlof, Chancellor of the University of Potsdam.

He also paid an academic visit to the Technical University of Munich to advance the formulation of a research project on the production of scientific knowledge and peace.

The world of foundations in Germany

In the spirit of better understanding the dynamics of foundations in Germany and exploring possibilities for cooperation in the area of peace and conflict, Dr. Nupia met with Dr. des. Hanna Stähle, Advisor to the General Secretariat for Strategic and International Projects of the Association of German Foundations.

Dr. Nupia reported on the results of the 25 exploratory projects funded by the CAPAZ Institute to date, in order to identify areas of common interest with German foundations with international scope in their work.

In Germany, there are about 23,000 foundations, approximately 10% of which are active internationally, mainly in the European Union. The foundation sector is very dynamic in Germany: 554 new foundations were created in 2018 alone.

Dr. Nupia at the Association of German Foundations. Foto: Carlos Nupia

Some of the foundations working on peace issues with which cooperative relationships could be explored are as follows: Open Society Foundations, Ariadne, German Foundation for Peace Research and Robert Bosch. CAPAZ will continue its exploration work in order to open spaces for cooperation on peace issues.

The association aims to support the development of the foundation sector in Germany and to increase public recognition of the role of these non-profit organisations in modern society.

Specific projects with German universities

The purpose of the visit to the University of Potsdam was to learn about the “Future-oriented management strategies and sustainable organisational development in a dynamic environment” project, coordinated by the University of Potsdam. Universidad Pontificia Javeriana de Cali, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Bucaramanga, and Asociación Colombiana de Universidades (ASCUN) all participate in the project.

The main objective of the project -currently in full implementation phase- is to strengthen the management capacity of the participating institutions on issues of digitization and quality of administration in education. It also strengthens the academic cooperation relations between Colombia and Germany. Karsten Gerlof, Chancellor of the University of Potsdam, contacted CAPAZ to explore cooperation in the production of educational material based on new information and communication technologies.

Conference at the Technical University of Munich

Dr. Nupia presented the lecture: Knowledge Production in Transitional Societies: the Case of the Colombian Peace Process, At the Munich Centre for Technology in Society, Technical University of Munich (TUM), as a conceptual approach to the relationship between the production of scientific knowledge and peacebuilding in a country in transition such as Colombia. The conference also includes empirical information collected from the management experience of the CAPAZ Institute in Colombia.

During their visit to TUM, Dr. Nupia and Dr. Katrin Hahn worked on the structuring of a research proposal on the co-creation of knowledge and peace in times of transition.

(Text: Carlos Nupia. Revision: Claudia Maya. English version: Tiziana Laudato)



Exkursion: Der kolumbianische Friedensprozess und die Herausforderungen einer nachhaltigen Entwicklung

Auf Monserrate. Foto: Exkursion JLU Gießen

Kolumbien nicht nur aus der Ferne studieren, sondern vor Ort erforschen. Dies war die Zielsetzung einer Exkursion von Studierenden der Geographie aus Gießen.

In Kooperation mit dem Instituto CAPAZ haben sich 16 Studierende unter der Leitung von Dorothea Hamilton und Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters in zwei Seminaren auf die Exkursion vorbereitet und dabei Grundlagen zum Friedensprozess sowie zu den Möglichkeiten und Grenzen rohstoffbasierter Entwicklung studiert.

Am Anfang der Exkursion stand eine stadt-geographische Einführung: Vom Monserrate-Berg in Bogotá wurden sozial-geographische Segregationsprozesse und damit verbundene Ungleichheiten erkundet, während der Besuch des Goldmuseums der kritischen Auseinandersetzung zwischen der Goldausbeutung in Kolumbien und bestehenden kolonialen Kontinuitäten diente.

Chaparral, Tolima

Treffen mit der Frauenrechtsorganisation in Chaparral. Foto: Exkursion JLU Gießen

Anschließend besuchte die Gruppe Chaparral, in der Provinz Tolima. In Kooperation mit der Universidad de Ibagué wurde hier die Menschenrechtsorganisation CODHES, die sich für die Rechte Binnenvertriebener einsetzt, besucht und die Konfliktdynamiken auf lokaler Ebene thematisiert. Chaparral war vor wenigen Jahren Schauplatz des bewaffneten Konfliktes. Ohne den Friedensprozess wäre ein Besuch vor Ort kaum möglich gewesen.

Ebenfalls in Chaparral stand ein Termin mit der Frauenrechtsorganisation Red de Mujeres Chaparralunas auf dem ProgrammDer beeindruckende Zusammenschluss von indigenen, afrokolumbianischen und alleinerziehenden Frauen aus der Region arbeitet bereits seit den 1990er Jahren in Chaparral, um Frauen in ihren Rechten zu stärken und den Zugang zu Weiterbildungen zu ermöglichen.

Am Folgetag besuchte die Gruppe die Universidad de Ibagué, wo sie im Rahmen einer Vortragsveranstaltung mit Dr. John Jairo Uribe zusammen mit Studierenden und Dozenten aus Ibagué über die sozialen, ökonomischen und ökologischen Herausforderungen des Friedens in der Region Tolima diskutierten.

Eje Cafetero

Gruppe im Naturschutzgebiet in Quindío. Foto: Exkursion JLU Gießen

Vom Vorlesungssaal ging es anschließend weiter in das Naturschutzgebiet Valle del Cocora im Departamento Quindío. Dort findet sich, wie in vielen Andenregionen, das einzigartige Ökosystem des Hochmoors, das als größte Wasserquelle des Landes seit einigen Jahren durch die Ausbeutung von Rohstoffen sowie den zunehmenden Tourismus bedroht ist.

Begleitet von einer Umweltwissenschaftlerin der Universidad Nacional de Colombia, einem lokalen Umweltaktivisten und einem Regierungsvertreter wurde der Ausflug in das Naturschutzgebiet genutzt, um Informationen zum lokalen Umweltschutz, zur Rohstoffausbeutung durch multinationale Unternehmen und zu sozial-ökologischen Konflikten an konkreten Beispielen zu diskutieren.

CAPAZ, Bogotá und Umgebung

Bergbau in Tabio. Foto: Exkursion JLU Gießen

Zurück in Bogotá standen die Teilnahme an einer Tagung der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, der Universidad de los Andes sowie des Instituto CAPAZ zum Thema Umwelt und Frieden sowie ein Besuch des Instituto CAPAZ im Claustro de San Agustín auf dem Programm.

Im CAPAZ fand ein Treffen mit einer Studierendengruppe der Philipps-Universität Marburg unter Leitung von Prof. Dr. Anika Oettler ebenso wie der Besuch der Fotoausstellung El Testigo (Der Zeuge) von Jesús Abad Colorado, die aus der Perspektive der Opfer den bewaffneten Konflikt dokumentiert, auf dem Programm.

Einen weiteren Perspektivwechsel ermöglichte der Besuch des Tagebaus Gravillera Albania S.A. Hier werden in unmittelbarer Nähe zur Hauptstadt Baumaterialien abgebaut. Während der Bergbau in Kolumbien oftmals mit Menschenrechtsverletzungen und Umweltzerstörung in Verbindung gebracht wird, sollte der Besuch im Bergwerk in der kleinen Gemeinde Tabio aufzeigen, dass einige nationale Unternehmen versuchen, den Bergbau nachhaltiger zu gestalten.

An der deutschen Botschaft. Foto: Exkursion JLU Gießen

Am letzten Tag der Exkursion war die Gruppe in die deutsche Botschaft eingeladen. Gemeinsam mit dem Botschafter der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Dr. Peter Ptassek, dem Sprecher für Kultur, Bildung und Wissenschaft Dr. Daniel Alscher sowie Prof. Dr. Peters tauschte sich die Gruppe über die Rolle Deutschlands im aktuellen Friedensprozess sowie interkulturellen Anekdoten der 12-tägigen Exkursion aus.

Das Treffen diente als runder Abschluss, um die gemachten Erfahrungen in den Kontext deutsch-kolumbianischer Beziehungen zu setzen und die Bedeutung der bilateralen Zusammenarbeit hervorzuheben.


(Text: Sonja Smolenski. Überarbeitung: Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters, Claudia Maya)




CAPAZ formally receives funding from the German government for a project that will support peace institutions in Colombia

Ambassador Ptassek (on the left) and Prof. Dr. Peters signed the grant document. Some students of JLU Giessen visited the German Embassy for the signing. Photo: Daniel Alscher

The German Ambassador in Colombia, Dr. Peter Ptassek, and the Academic Director of CAPAZ, Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters formalised the financing by the German Federal Foreign Office for the project that will -based within academia- support the work of the Special Peace Jurisdiction (JEP) and the Commission for the Clarification of the Truth (CEV) in Colombia.

The signing of the grant document took place on August 9, 2019 at the headquarters of the German Embassy in Bogota.

You may also like: Justice and truth: Keys to the peace process in Colombia

The project will be led by the CAPAZ Institute and the Centre for the Study of Latin American Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure (CEDPAL), attached to the University of Göttingen. It will receive funding of more than 365,000 euros and will be executed between July 2019 and the end of 2020.

For more information: /  

Contact: Juliette Vargas (CAPAZ/CEDPAL):

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