For the last three years the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have engaged in peace negotiations to end the longest armed conflict in the western hemisphere. The rounds of negotiations are taking place behind closed doors in Havana, Cuba, with representatives from Norway, Chile, and Venezuela in attendance. Peace processes are usually undemocratic. In Colombia, however, the parties have heard directly from victims and created mechanisms for the participation of civil society. Yet Colombians are split between those who believe that there is no space for civil society and those who see in the negotiations an opportunity for building peace. In this lecture, Gomez-Suarez will outline the developments in the peace process and share the experience of Rodeemos el Diálogo, an informal network of Colombians and friends of Colombia who support the peace process and are working to build a culture of dialogue.
Andrei Gomez-Suarez is associate researcher at the Centre for Criminology (Oxford) and lecturer on transitional justice at The University of Los Andes (Bogota). He is a member of Rodeemos el Diálogo (ReD), a transnational network building a Culture of Dialogue to support the Santos-FARC peace talks. His book Genocide, Geopolitics and Transnational Networks was published in January 2015 by Routledge. He has been a consultant for the National Centre for Historical Memory, Conciliation Resources, Signun Consulting, IHS Jane, and Viva la Ciudadania. Gomez-Suarez holds a BA in Political Science (Los Andes), an MA in Contemporary War and Peace Studies (Sussex), and a DPhil in International Relations (Sussex).