Perspectives on Colombia's Peace Process
Speakers: Dr. Gladys Melo-Pinzon, Laura Ulloa
Tuesday, November 15 - 6:30-8pm
On October 2, a peace deal to end Colombia's 52-year civil war with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was rejected by voters 50.2% to 49.8%, with less than 38% of eligible voters turning out to the polls. The victory of the 'No' vote, however narrow, came as a shock to the international community, which had been touting Colombia as a beacon of hope and optimism in a world of increasing chaos.
Colombia's civil war is estimated to have claimed nearly a quarter million lives and resulted in 11,700 children kidnapped, 6,800 women raped and more than 6 million people internally displaced. How can we explain such a divided populace, not to mention low voter turnout, on an issue of such national importance? Were the conditions of the peace agreement, which included political representation for the FARC and taxpayer-funded stipends for demobilized combatants, justified? Given the brutality of the conflict, what does it take for a nation and its people to forgive and move on?
WIIS-NY will be joined by Colombians Laura Ulloa and Dr. Gladys Melo-Pinzon who will discuss what it was like to live through the conflict and shed light on the recent plebiscite and the prospects for peace moving forward.
Speakers will include:
The discussion will be moderated by WIIS-NY President Christina Madden.
Dr. Gladys Melo-Pinzon, Amnesty USA
Laura Ulloa, Corona Foundation
Light refreshments will be served.
708 Third Avenue, Suite 1705
New York, NY 10017
This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited and registration is required. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and affiliation.
Gladys Melo-Pinzon is a senior international consultant, advisor and advocate in human rights, women’s rights and security policy arenas at the US federal and international levels. She currently serves as the Senegal, Niger, Mauritania and Guinea Country Specialist of Amnesty USA (AIUSA) and former AIUSA Haiti and Ivory Coast Country Specialist. Working with government agencies, international agencies of cooperation and nongovernmental organizations on policy analysis, strategic planning, and legislative and grassroots advocacy, she held positions with several advocacy and development organizations. She also works with women’s human rights coalitions in West Africa and Latin America committed to ensure the respect and fulfillment of human rights for all women, girls and communities and their access to justice.
Dr. Melo-Pinzon holds a Doctorate degree in anthropology from Université Laval (Canada) and a Master's degree in Management and Planning of Regional Development from Universidad de los Andes (Colombia).
At the age of 9, Laura Ulloa was kidnapped by the ELN together with her mother, sister and 150 other people that were attending a mass in Cali, Colombia. Fortunately, they were released and allowed to return home within hours. Two years later, in 2001, Ms. Ulloa was kidnaped again, this time by the FARC while returning home from school on the bus. She was held captive for seven months in the Colombian jungle.
As an adult, Ms. Ulloa interned with the United Nations Security Council in New York, then spent two years working with the Colombian Agency for Reintegration, helping to reduce the stigma attached to demobilized combatants and position reintegration programs within the private sector. At present, Ms. Ulloa is Coordinator for Social Projects at the Corona Foundation, working to enhance equal access to education and improved quality of life for underserved populations. She studied Political Science with a specialization in Organization, Social Responsibility and Development from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia.