Ana Laura Zavala Guillen

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PhD Topic:

Geographies of Dispossession: Territory, Law and Race in the Last Palenque (Colombia)

Professional Background:

Ana Laura, a human rights lawyer, holds a law degree from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (Argentina), an MA in Human Rights (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid), and an MA in Conflict Resolution (University of Bradford). She has spent most of her career empowering victims after mass atrocities in places such as Guatemala and Western Sahara.

Awarded a Rotary Peace Fellowship, Ana Laura provided legal assistance in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and analysed violence against men perpetrated during the armed conflict in the Balkans.

Focusing on transitional justice, she worked for the Office of the Prosecutor investigating genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated during the last dictatorship in Argentina. The main topics in her investigations were sexual violence against political prisoners under illegal detention and the complicity of enterprises in the forced disappearances of their workers.

In the context of the peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARCs-EP (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the People’s Army), Ana Laura acts as an advisor in gender justice for women’s organizations. In this capacity, she is running a project in storytelling and women as peace actors.

Currently, Ana Laura provides assistance to Afro-descendant communities of the Caribbean area of Colombia in the mapping of their territories under dispossession and conflict.

Full profile and publications.