Understanding the nature of contemporary armed violence as a violence presented not only in the conflicts between states, but also established by armed non-state actors with multiple motivations and agendas, this Policy Brief evaluates the emergence of gangs, drug trafficking organizations and small criminal groups operating in pockets of fragility in urban or rural areas of Latin American states. The aim is to reveal the limits of mediation and conflict resolution in dealing with diffuse agendas, once established the competitive or cooperative relationship between these groups and state agents.

In “Mediation with Non-conventional Armed Groups? Experiences from Latin America”, Mabel González Bustelo evaluates examples of mediation efforts engendered with criminal actors in Latin America. Aware of the multiple forms that mediation and dialogue take in this context, Bustelo deeply analyzes the experiences in Honduras, Colombia and Mexico. The goal here is to identify how the mediation with criminal groups was conducted in the selected countries; which combinations of actors were possible; which factors affected the results of these processes; and what expertise could be achieved to improve the mediation of criminal agendas.

Mabel González Bustelo is a journalist, researcher and international consultant specialized in international peace and security, with a focus on non-state actors in world politics, organized violence, conflict, and peacebuilding. In 2015, Mabel participated of the GSUM Fellowship Program as invited researcher. During the Fellowship program fellows are expected to present at least one paper at a conference; to give one lecture; to produce one Policy Brief and/or an academic article; and teach a two 6h courses on conflict resolution/mediation related topics during the Winter School.

The calls for applications in the 2016 GSUM Winter School and the 2016 Fellowship Program will be available soon. Follow the news in our website and social networks!