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Overcoming Conflict in Colombia: Political and Economic Challenges

Date & Time:
April 26, 2016 | 11:30 am - 1:45 pm
Devonian Room - Calgary Petroleum Club

Overcoming Conflict in Colombia


 His Excellency Nicolás Lloreda-Ricaurte, serves as Ambassador of Colombia to Canada since February 14,2013. Previously he served as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Colombia in Washington, D.C. Between 2001-2010, Mr. Lloreda practiced law in Washington D.C., where he focused on international business transactions, trade and investment policy and international dispute resolution. Mr. Lloreda also served as Director General of the Andean Community (1997-2000), he supervised the legal department and prosecuted and defended cases before the Andean Court of Justice. Earlier, Mr. Lloreda spent four years with the Colombian Government Trade Bureau in Washington, D.C. (1993-1997), where he served as Director of the Trade Bureau and Minister Counselor of the Colombian Embassy in 2010, he was appointed as an arbitrator before ICSID.  His wife, Alessandra is an economist. They have two children.


Ricardo Avila is the Editor-in-Chief of the Colombian business daily Portafolio. An economist from the Javeriana University (Bogotá, Colombia) with a Masters in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh (USA), he currently holds the position of both Editor-in-Chief of Portafolio and Assistant Editor-in-Chief of El Tiempo, the most widely-read and influential daily in Colombia. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of El Tiempo.

A Simón Bolívar award winner, Ricardo Avila has held various positions in the public sector such as Economic Advisor and Private Secretary to the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia, Deputy Minister of International Economic Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs during the government of César Gaviria (1990-1994), as well as other important positions. He was the Head of Cabinet for the Organization of American States in Washington, General Secretary and Consultant of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Andean Development Corporation.

Portafolio is a business daily published from Monday to Friday which also runs a weekend edition. It was founded in 1995 and has a daily circulation of about 45.000 copies. Casa Editorial El Tiempo is the publishing company. Portafolio is one of the leading Colombian media outlets on economics, business, finance and management issues. 


Juan Manuel Galan was born on July 29th 1972 in Bogotá, Colombia. On 1989, immediately after the assassination of his father Luis Carlos Galán Sarmiento who was the front runner Presidential Candidate, he had to leave Colombia with his Mother and brothers to seek refuge from the empowered drug cartels and the corrupted officials that conspired to murder Luis Carlos Galan. He was revered as the leading voice of a society reluctant to succumb to the violence and illegal wealth brought by the drug trafficking funneled by the thirst of consumers in developed countries.

He studied Political Science at the Paris Institute of Political Studies and in 1997 he graduated with a Master’s in International Politics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Paris. He also has a Master’s of Science in Foreign Service and Security from Georgetown University, 2003.

Colombian Senator since 2006 passed important Bills such as the 1566 that establishes addiction as a problem of public health, being Colombia the first country in Latin America to accept this reality, also the 1680 Bill which guarantees the access to technology, information and communications for people visually impaired.

Also it’s co-author of the 1621 bill, which establishes the legal framework of the intelligence and counterintelligence government agencies in order to allow them to accomplish their national security goal while fully respecting human rights.

In the Congress of Colombia, is the President of the First Commission of the Senate on Constitutional Issues, member of the Commission of Territory Organization and Decentralization in charge of the Political and Administrative structure of the Country and finally President of the Victims Law Commission, responsible for monitoring the implementation of the legislation.


Stephen J. Randall, FRSC, (PhD Toronto 1972), is Professor Emeritus and Faculty Professor at the University of Calgary. He served as Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences (1994-2006); Director of the Institute for United States Policy Research (2006-2009); Director Latin American Research Centre (2010-14).  He held previous appointments at McGill University (1974-1989), and the University of Toronto (1971-1974).  He was a member of the editorial board of the Latin American Research Review (2004-2009), and was co-editor of International Journal of the Canadian Institute for International Affairs. He is the author or co-author of a number of books which focus on inter-American relations.  Among them are: The Diplomacy of Modernization: The United States and Colombia, 1920-1940 (1977); United States Foreign Oil Policy (1984);  Hegemony and Interdependence: Colombia and the United States (1992); Ambivalent Allies: Canada and the United States( 4 editions  1994, 1996, 2002, 2008 with John H. Thompson); Canada and Latin America (1992, with Mark O. Dickerson); Federalism and the New World Order (1994, with Roger Gibbins); An International History of the Caribbean Basin(1998, with Graeme S. Mount); North America Without Borders(1992, with Herman Konrad); NAFTA in Transition( 1995, with Herman Konrad).   His most recent books are: United States foreign oil policy since World War I. (2005);  Alfonso López Michelsen, su vida, su epoca (2007).Not Just about Drugs: Colombian-American Relations Since 1974 will be published by Random House Colombia in 2016.

He holds the National Order of Merit, Grand Cross (2000), and the Order of San Carlos (2013) from Colombia. In 2012 he received the Lifetime Public Service Award from the Canadian Council for the Americas. Dr. Randall has served with the United Nations, Organization of American States and Carter Center in international election supervision in the Caribbean, Latin America and Southeast Asia.  In 2007 he held the Fulbright Visiting Chair in North American Studies at American University, Washington D.C.  


Dr. Pablo Policzer is an Associate Professor of Political Science. A specialist in comparative politics, his research focuses on the evolution of violent conflict -- especially among armed actors such as militaries, police forces, and non-state armed groups -- in authoritarian and democratic regimes. He held the Canada Research Chair in Latin American Politics (2005-2015), and is a Fellow at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. He was also an active Fellow at the Latin American Research Centre before being appointed Director in 2015.  His book The Rise and Fall of Repression in Chile (Notre Dame University Press, 2009) was named a Choice Magazine “Outstanding Academic Title”, and won the 2010 award for best book in Comparative Politics from the Canadian Political Science Association. He obtained his PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his BA (Honours, First Class) in political science from the University of British Columbia.