Yale to Hold Symposium on Relations between Colombia and the U.S.

Yale University will host a two-day symposium, “Colombia/U.S. Relations: The War on Drugs, the Peace Process and Prospects for Human Rights,” at Yale Law School, 127 Wall Street, from November 30 through December 1.

The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will be jointly sponsored by the Law School’s Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights and the Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies. Colombian and U.S. academics, activists and government officials will examine the issues that have dominated relations between the two countries for the last two decades: drug trafficking, the armed conflict in Colombia and human rights.

The symposium will explore issues central to Colombia’s prospects for peace and stability, and to U.S. policy in the region.

Thursday, November 30
4-6 p.m.
Introductory Lecture: “Colombia’s Predicament: Drug Trafficking, Human Rights and the Peace Process”
Speaker: Catherine Le Grand, associate professor of history, McGill University, Canada.

Friday, December 1
10 a.m.-Noon
Panel Discussion: “The War on Drugs”
The drug war, its political, social and economic consequences and the Clinton administration’s financial aid package.
Panelists: Luis Alberto Moreno, Colombian ambassador to the United States; James F. Mack, U.S. ambassador to Guyana and former director, Office of Andean Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Juan Gabriel Tokatlian, professor, Universidad de San Andres, Argentina; Alvaro Camacho, professor, Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
Moderator: Joanne Mariner, deputy director, Americas Division, Human Rights Watch.

1:30-3:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion: “The Peace Process”
Colombia’s road to peace: perspectives on the peace talks between the Pastrana administration and the two major guerrilla groups, the F.A.R.C. and the E.L.N. Panelists: Alex Lee, senior Colombia desk officer, Office of Andean Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Juan Gabriel Uribe, member of the Colombian Senate and representative of the government of Colombia in peace negotiations with the F.A.R.C.; Daniel Garcia-Pena, journalist, “El Tiempo,” and former acting high commissioner for peace, Colombia; Jose Miguel Vivanco, executive director, Americas Division, Human Rights Watch.
Moderator: Gilbert M. Joseph, the Farnam Professor of History and chair of the Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies at Yale.

4-5:00 p.m.
Concluding Remarks: “Colombia’s Importance for Latin America”
Speaker: Francisco Zapata, professor, Center for Sociological Studies, El Colegio de Mexico, and visiting professor, Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies, Yale Center for International and Area Studies.

For more information about the symposium, contact the Schell Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, 203-432-7480; or the conference coordinator, Daniel Bonilla, at daniel.bonilla@yale.edu.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325