CAPAZ | Publications
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This section shows our latest publications in the four categories newsletter/SIE, policy brief, working papers and worth readings

Publicada cartilla sobre guardias indígenas, afrodescendientes y campesinas en el Cauca, con apoyo de CAPAZ

Nos complace compartir la cartilla titulada: “Guardias indígenas, afrodescendientes, campesinas. Trayectos y desafíos, departamento del Cauca”, publicación de los autores Axel Rojas y Vanessa Useche, que contó con el apoyo del Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz – CAPAZ y la Vicerrectoría de Investigaciones de la Universidad del Cauca.

Con el compromiso con la memoria de la historia política y la defensa de los territorios, el propósito de los autores es reconstruir la historia reciente de las guardias indígenas, campesinas y afrodescendientes en el departamento del Cauca, al suroccidente de Colombia.

Para alcanzar este propósito, la publicación desarrolla tres temáticas: estrategia de la defensa territorial: historia política indígena, campesina y afrodescendiente; las guardias indígenas, afrodescendientes y campesinas: defensa de territorios y construcción de paz, y desafíos: construcción de autonomía y paz territorial en el posconflicto. La lectura se ve enriquecida por infografías como líneas de tiempo, ilustraciones y fotografías.

Resultado de investigaciones en el contexto de la cooperación colombo-alemana

La cartilla fue publicada en octubre de 2019 en Popayán y es el resultado de dos proyectos de investigación. El primer proyecto fue desarrollado en 2018 con apoyo del Instituto CAPAZ llamado: “¿Fortalecimiento de autonomía o del Estado? El reconocimiento diferencial de las guardias de autoprotección en el acuerdo de paz y su cooperación en el territorio en el marco del posacuerdo”.

Dicho estudio es una co-investigación del profesor Axel Rojas y la asistenta de investigación Vanessa Useche (Universidad del Cauca); María Cárdenas (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen) y Sergio Coronado (Otto-Suhr-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin, Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular – CINEP).

En trabajo seguido, el profesor Rojas y la antropóloga Useche adelantaron el segundo proyecto que lleva por nombre: “Las guardias indígenas, campesinas y cimarronas en el departamento del Cauca. Estrategias de construcción de autonomía en el contexto del posconflicto”. Este segundo estudio fue financiado por la Vicerrectoría de Investigaciones de la Universidad del Cauca.

La cartilla que aquí destacamos visibiliza los múltiples desafíos de las poblaciones rurales y las transformaciones que han experimentado en las últimas décadas para afrontarlos. Recoge los esfuerzos de construcción de proyectos orientados al ejercicio de la autonomía y el control de los territorios y la construcción de paz en un contexto de posacuerdo, en el cual el conflicto, lejos de desaparecer, se fragmenta y transforma.


Lea la cartilla aquí disponible (en español, .pdf)


Rojas, A. y Useche, V. Guardias indígenas, afrodescendientes, campesinas. Trayectos y desafíos, departamento del Cauca. Universidad del Cauca. Editorial Samava, Popayán: octubre de 2019. 40 pgs.

(Texto NW023-2020, Carlos Andrés García, Claudia Maya. Versión en inglés: Tiziana Laudato)


Boletín/Newsletter CAPAZ No. 6 – Febrero/February 2020

Dear readers:

2020 brings the best news for CAPAZ! The second phase of the institute will be developed from now until 2023. The project coordinated with CEDPAL and financed by the German Federal Foreign Office is underway and will involve joint activities in Germany and Colombia. CAPAZ has also received additional funds to support the work of the Colombian Commission for the Clarification of Truth in Germany. NETCAPAZ, the network of peace researchers promoted by our Institute will be more dynamic in Germany in 2020, and CAPAZ will launch its presence in social networks with new videos and hold two key events in the Eje Cafetero: the international congress and the board meeting. Read about all the events that took place at the end of 2019 and in 2020 so far, in Issue No. 6 of the institutional newsletter.


Versión en español / English version


“The ICC Prosecutor’s Office has more faith in the JEP than in the government itself”: Kai Ambos for Semana

The Colombian news magazine Semana talked to German jurist, Prof. Dr. Kai Ambos about the two years of managing the Special Peace Jurisdiction (JEP) after its creation, as a result of the signing of the peace agreements between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP guerrilla.

In the interview, Prof. Ambos presented arguments to praise the work carried out so far by the JEP and to distinguish Colombia’s comprehensive system of truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition from other models in the world.

Kai Ambos is Director of the Centre for the Study of Latin American Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure (CEDPAL) at the University of Göttingen, and spokesman for this institution at the Colombian-Peace Institute – CAPAZ. He is a judge at the Special Tribunal for Kosovo in The Hague, and advisor (amicus curiae) to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace of Colombia.

Read the full interview (in Spanish)

Ambos, K. “The ICC Prosecutor’s Office has more faith in the JEP than in the government itself” Semana Magazine, 31.01.2020 (Accessed on 03.02.2020 from: []).


(Text NW 017-2020: Claudia Maya. English version: Tiziana Laudato)


“They are killing those who are fighting for peace”: Stefan Peters from the DW studios in Berlin

Screenshot DW Online (24.01.2020)

CAPAZ Academic Director Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters, was consulted by the German international news network Deutsche Welle (DW) about the threats to and murders of female and male social leaders in Colombia in the early days of 2020.

In the special report from the DW television studios in Berlin, Prof. Dr. Peters pointed out two key characteristics to understand what today is shown to be one of the most violent periods since the end of the conflict with the FARC-EP. The first is impunity: those who attempt against the lives of social leaders in the country are rarely punished. The second has to do with the victims: “they are murdering those who fight for peace, against extreme inequality, against extractivism and mining, against drug trafficking”; that is, there is an interest in silencing their voices.

For the academic and expert in peace studies, who is also a professor in this area at the Justus Liebig University Giessen, the figures show that the measures taken by the government since the signing of the Final Agreement are not sufficient, and the resources allocated to implement plans to safeguard the lives of social leaders are scarce.

DW has contrasted the figures presented by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which report at least ten leaders killed during the first thirteen days of the year, with those provided by NGOs, which report at least 19 killed during the same period.

In this context, several political figures in Colombia have received death threats through pamphlets in recent days, among them the recently elected mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, and the President of the Partido Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común – FARC, Rodrigo Londoño. Fundación Paz y Reconciliación denounces the alleged responsibility of the self-styled Águilas Negras.

And what about peace in Colombia?

“To build a stable and lasting peace, the Agreements need to be implemented” says Dr. Peters, but beyond this, “there are issues that are missing”. He says there are roots of the violence that are not being addressed: extreme inequality, extractive development, and illegal economies.

Finally, Peters concludes with an open question that invites us to reflect on the peacebuilding and social model being pursued in Colombia: “How much inequality does peace endure”.

See the full interview from the DW studios in Berlin (taken from DW Twitter)


(Text NW 10-2020: Carlos Andrés García, English version: Tiziana Laudato)


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)


“Colombia: Renegades target the heart of peace”: Angelika Rettberg and Stefan Peters on DW

Screenshot DW Online (16.01.2020)

“Colombia’s structural problems continue to be an obstacle to ending the violence”. This forceful sentence introduces the article published on January 15, 2020 by the German news network, Deutsche Welle (DW) for its Spanish-language news services.

In its recent article, DW consulted Angelika Rettberg, researcher at Universidad de los Andes and spokesperson for the university at the German-Colombian Peace Institute – CAPAZ, and Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters, CAPAZ Academic Director and Professor of Peace Studies at Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU).

Both experts referred to the complex situation that is currently playing out in the implementation of the Colombian peace process. The killing of social leaders in the short time since the beginning of 2020; new illegal interceptions by the Colombian army and what seems to have been an attack by FARC-EP dissidents on their former leader and now a member of the FARC party, Rodrigo Londoño, do not seem to paint an encouraging picture, according to the publication: “the reality is that post-agreement Colombia has turned out to be a much bloodier place than many expected”.

“The peace agreement brought the conflict with the FARC to an end, but it did not manage to eliminate many of the fundamental drivers of the violence”, stresses political scientist Angelika Rettberg, while CAPAZ Academic Director, Stefan Peters emphasises: “It is the government’s obligation to protect its citizens”.

Full article (in Spanish)


Anarte, Enrique. Colombia: the renegades target the heart of peaceAvailable at: Deutsche Welle in Spanish, January 15, 2020 [Accessed online:16.01.2020 at:ón-de-la-paz/a-52017460].


(Text NW005-2020: Claudia Maya, English version: Tiziana Laudato)


Contribution to the second edition of a volume on psychosomatic medicine: A CAPAZ-supported project

Cover of the Second Edition (Springer)

Researchers Sonia Díaz Monsalve and Andrés Cubillos collaborated on a chapter on psychosomatic medicine in Latin America, included in the second edition of the publication entitled “Psychosomatic Medicine: An International Guide for the Primary Care Setting” (Springer Nature, 2020). One of the editors for the volume is Prof. Dr. Michael Wirsching, from the University Medical Centre Freiburg (Klinik für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie) at the University of Freiburg. Dr. Wirsching is a spokesman for the university at CAPAZ.

The researchers coordinated the project on mental health in vulnerable populations in Colombia, supported by CAPAZ and other funding bodies.

Of interest about the project: “Improvement of the mental health of populations displaced to Colombia’s urban areas”

About the second edition (in English. Source: Springer)

“Now in its fully revised and expanded second edition, this volume is the definitive global resource on psychosocial problems. Containing several new chapters and featuring extensively updated contributions from experts in the field, this title takes a uniquely global approach in laying the foundations of bio psychosocial basic care and provides relevant information about the most common mental and psychosomatic problems and disorders. An extension of the cultural aspects of the individual clinical pictures and new contributions from China, Latin America, Russia, Iran, India, Africa and Myanmar, also about migration and mental health accompany this revision.”

More information about the publication (in English)


Sonia Diaz-Monsalve and Andres Cubillo, Development of Psychosomatic Medicine in the Latin American Region. In: K. Fritzsche, S. McDaniel, M. Wirsching (eds.), Psychosomatic Medicine – An International Guide for the Primary Care Setting. 2nd ed. p. 309-315, Springer Nature, Heidelberg 2020


(Text NW004-2020: Claudia Maya, English version: Tiziana Laudato)


“Soleimani’s killing, a test for International Law”: Prof. Dr. Kai Ambos’ Analysis for El Espectador

Screenshot El Espectador online (14.01.2020)

The jurist Prof. Dr. Kai Ambos, Director of the Centre for the Study of Latin American Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure (CEDPAL) at the University of Göttingen and spokesman for the university at CAPAZ, analysed the case of the assassination of the Iranian General Qasem Soleimaní for the Colombian newspaper El Espectador.

The introduction to Prof. Dr. Ambos’ article reads as follows: “The ‘target killings’ of terrorists has long been disallowed by international law. However, the United States has now extended it to state actors. This further undermines the aspirations of an international legal order, argues this German expert in international criminal law”.

Full article (in Spanish)


Ambos, Kai. Soleimani’s killing a test for International Law. In: El Espectador, January 13, 2020 [Accessed: 14.01.2020 at:]


(Text NW003-2020: Claudia Maya, English version: Tiziana Laudato)


“Latin America, pending issues to protect the environment”

Screenshot DW Online (13.01.2020)

The CAPAZ Academic Director, Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters was interviewed by the German news channel Deutsche Welle (DW) on the challenges facing Latin America in 2020.

Prof. Dr. Peters, who is also professor of peace studies at Justus Liebig University Giessen, spoke specifically about the protection of activists and social leaders in Colombia who defend the environment and the implementation of the peace agreements signed in 2016.

Click below to read full article published by DW on the environmental and social challenges in the Latin American region.

Full article (in Spanish)


Alonso, J. Latin America, pending environmental protection issues (January 12, 2020, Deutsche Welle. Accessed January 13, 2020: [érica-latina-cuestiones-pendientes-para-proteger-el-medio-ambiente/a-51973568?fbclid=IwAR1-bSCOfFSOCuDM9WCiwqiqell6v_y4Y3ouXzt-HEQsfZ3_wwRwVVH3z3Q]).


(Text NW002-2020: Claudia Maya, English version: Tiziana Laudato)