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Lisa Trei, News Service (650) 725-0224; e-mail:

Stanford sponsors conference on conflict in Colombia

A major conference on Colombia next week will bring together negotiators, policy analysts, scholars and journalists to discuss the country's crisis and how political and economic developments are affecting its neighbors and members of the international community.

Presented by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Colombian Students Association, "Colombia: A Dialogue in the Midst of Turmoil" will take place in the Law School from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 27-28. The event is free and open to the public.

"There's not much freedom of speech in Colombia for negotiators and scholars, so we're trying to create a space where they can talk freely and discuss ideas that may not be popular," said Amy Upgren, events coordinator for the center. "Also, we want to educate people about how $1.3 billion in U.S. tax dollars is being used [there]. We are fortunate that we have lots of people at Stanford who are doing great work on Colombia."

Political science Professor Terry Karl, the center's director, will discuss "Roots of the Conflict" from 9 to 9:45 a.m. in Room 190 on Feb. 27. A panel on "The Culture of Violence," conducted in Spanish, will follow with comment from Maria Elena Rueda, a doctoral student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. An afternoon panel on "War and Economy" will include Eduardo Sarmiento, dean of economics at Escuela Colombiana de Ingenieria.

On Feb. 28 at 9 a.m. in Room 290 "Accountability and Press Freedom" will be discussed by Knight Fellows Tim Johnson, former Bogotá correspondent for the Miami Herald, and Clara Ines Rueda, former managing editor of Gerente business magazine in Bogotá. Robert Collier, Latin American correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle, will moderate.

At 1 p.m. "Conflict Resolution: Efforts Toward Peace" will include two former Colombian government officials: Rafael Pardo, former defense minister, and Carlos Jaramillo, a former peace negotiator. From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. "Drugs, Human Rights and U.S. Policy" will feature Michael Kenney, a fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, and Ignacio Gomez, director of investigations at El Espectador and recipient of the 2000 Amnesty International Human Rights Special Award for a Journalist Under Threat.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Stanford Program in International Legal Studies, the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation and the Mid-Peninsula Chapter of the World Affairs Council. For a complete list of participants, go to


By Lisa Trei

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