The Global South Unit for Mediation (GSUM) participated, between the 26th and the 28th of August, of FLACSO Ecuador‘s III Latin American and Caribbean Congress of Social Sciences, in Quito. Seven members of the team were present: Coordinator Dr. Monica Herz, Deputy Coordinator and Researcher Dr. Maira Siman, Researchers Dr. Marta Fernández, Dr. Claudia Fuentes and Manuela Trindade Viana, and Research Assistants Camila dos Santos and Isa Mendes.

On the 26th, Manuela T. Viana took part in the panel “Doctrine, Security and Institutions” alongside Dr. Gabriel Orozco (FLACSO Ecuador), who started by presenting his research “International Security Governance”. Viana’s contribution concerned the investigation she has been developing in her PhD, which involves the Colombian transition from a problematic country towards an image of ‘exporter of security models’, especially when it comes to police and military training. Dr. Fuentes’ participation happened the following day, in the panel “Transitional Justice”, during which she presented her paper “Conflict Resolution and Human Rights in Latin America”. She explored the relationship between human rights and conflict resolution, examining how, during the democratization of some Latin American countries, there was an unexpected complementation between the two fields, which are traditionally considered to be at odds with each other.

Dr. Herz, along with Dr. Siman, Dr. Fernández, Camila dos Santos and Isa Mendes, presented during a panel entitled “Pacific Conflict Transformation in Latin America”, held on August 28th and moderated by Cécile Mouly (FLACSO Ecuador). While Dr. Siman presented GSUM and the work it develops, Dr. Herz followed up by highlighting the main points of her research on the practice of conflict resolution in Latin America. Isa Mendes and Camila dos Santos presented their papers next, respectively on US-Cuban negotiations and UNASUR’s current mediation role in Venezuela. Dr. Fernández wrapped up the group’s presentation by proposing a postcolonial reading of the Brazilian role in peace operations. The panel, which was attended mainly by academics and regional organization members, had a 20-minute Q&A session over issues such as the professionalization of Latin-American mediators and the recent Venezuela-Colombia border tensions.

See the Conference’s full program here (available in Spanish only).

While in Quito, part of the team also visited UNASUR‘s headquarters. Dr. Herz and Dr. Siman were received by the organization’s chief of staff, and Dr. Fuentes and Camila dos Santos interviewed UNASUR’s Director of Political Affairs and Defense, Maurício Dorfler.