‘Total Peace’: A Solution to Urban Conflict in Colombia? – Virtual Panel

*Please note that this event will be conducted in Spanish.

The Colombian government’s flagship Total Peace policy has seen it open negotiations with some of the most notorious gangs in the cities of Medellín and Buenaventura. Can these talks break the cycle of generations of urban conflict, or will they be used by gang bosses for their own gain?

To accompany the publication of our investigation “Escobar’s Former Hitman Takes the Road to Total Peace in Medellín, Colombia,” on September 18th, InSight Crime will host a virtual event featuring Sara García, one of our investigators, alongside a panel of distinguished experts: Elizabeth Dickinson, Berenice Celeita, and Carlos Espitia. This space will delve into some of the challenges posed by the "Total Peace" proposal put forth by Colombia's President, Gustavo Petro, within urban contexts.

The event will be conducted in Spanish and will be live-streamed on YouTube.

Upon registration, you'll be able to receive event materials.


18 Sep 2023


10:00 am - 11:30 am Colombia


Livestreamed in Spanish via Facebook and YouTube. Registration not required, but if you wish to receive event materials, please do register.


Sara García is a researcher at InSight Crime. She has been involved in investigations into criminal networks, criminal actors, and gender-based violence in Colombia. Recently, she collaborated on a research project about the flow of chemical precursors for the production of synthetic drugs in Mexico. She holds a bachelor's degree in history and a master's in peacebuilding from the University of the Andes, Bogotá.

Elizabeth Dickinson is a senior analyst for Colombia at the International Crisis Group, a position she has held since 2017. Based in Bogotá, her work focuses on the dynamics of the armed conflict in the country, the implementation of the 2016 peace agreement, and current security challenges. Her recent reports have included documenting the behavior of armed groups towards the civilian population in the context of total peace, examining threats to social leaders, and the links between cocaine and violence, among others. Elizabeth leads a project dedicated to the analysis of military operations and strategy, the conclusions and recommendations of which were cited in the national defense and security policy of 2023.

Prior to this role, Elizabeth worked at Crisis Group as a senior analyst for the Arabian Peninsula, where she resided for eight years, focusing on the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Before joining the International Crisis Group, Elizabeth worked for a decade as a journalist in Nigeria, Washington D.C., and Abu Dhabi, holding positions at Foreign Policy, The National, and The Economist magazines. She holds a degree in African and international studies from Yale University.

Berenice Celeita is an activist and journalist. She coordinates the Intercultural University of the Peoples, an educational initiative promoted by the NOMASDESC Association for Black, Indigenous, peasant, and urban communities in the southwestern region of Colombia. Under her leadership, NOMASDESC pioneered strategic litigation in defense of life, culture, and territory. Since 2017, she has been coordinating the Human Rights, Guarantees, and Protection Table of the Civic Strike of Buenaventura, aimed at achieving a peaceful and dignified life for the territory.

Carlos Espitia holds a master's degree in geography and master's degree in international relations. Currently a part of the Indepaz team, where he works as a researcher on topics related to security, armed conflicts, and peacebuilding. He also supports grassroots communities and organizational processes in research, advocacy, policy influencing, and dialogues with the private sector. In Indepaz, he has coordinated reports on illegal armed groups in Colombia. He was part of the Truth Commission, leading the team responsible for processing interviews with victims, family members, witnesses, perpetrators, and experts. He also played a role in establishing the Memory, Peace, and Reconciliation Center in Bogotá.