This episode was recorded as a live broadcast on 28 June 2022.
Colombia is recognised for its diverse landscapes and rich heritage and culture but for years had a reputation for violence and civil unrest. It’s known for its war and peace, with a 50-year civil war officially ending in 2016. Despite this monumental step, Colombia still faces problems, with drug trafficking, illegal armed groups and high levels of internally displaced people.
In spite of this, Colombia holds great environmental significance and has played a key role in advocating environmental change as the first signatory of the Buckingham Palace Declaration with United for Wildlife. The UK and Colombia foster a climate partnership that aims to mobilise climate finance at scale and accelerate the transition to a green future.
What will change with the current presidential election taking place? What can be done to prevent the violence and conflict caused by drug cartels? How can the UK continue to foster cooperation with Colombia to battle the climate crisis?
In partnership with Aspen Colombia, Aspen UK is bringing together experts from across Colombia and the UK to discuss what the future may hold for this country and the bilateral relationship.
Pablo Navas – Pablo is the Executive Director of Aspen Colombia. Born in Bogotá, he is an industrial engineer from Cornell University and a has an MBA from Universidad de los Andes. In his professional career, he has served as Vice Headmaster of Colegio San Carlos, he is Founding Member of Colegio Los Nogales, and was Manager of the Asociación Alianza Educativa. Additionally, he has been President of Global Education Group Colombia, Director of Proexport’s Commercial Office in New York, and Member of the Superior Council of the Universidad de los Andes from 1983 to 2011, when he became President of the institution until 2019. He has served on numerous boards of directors including Caracol Radio SA, Ospinas y Cia, Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá and Fundación Mario Santodomingo. He is the author of several books: The Voyage of Frederic Edwin Church through Colombia and Ecuador, Colombia in Le Tour du Monde, and Alberto Magno in the Andes.
ON THE PANEL:
Alejandra Botero Barco – Alejandra is the Director of the National Planning Department (DNP) of the Government of Colombia. Her professional activity has been linked to international organisations, especially the Latin American Development Bank (CAF), where she promoted credit for four countries. In 2019, she joined the Government of Colombia and assisted in the creation of the Presidential Council for Management and Compliance, as well as the transformation of public management in the regions, through the creation of 16 Compliance Units. Among the different programmes she now leads under the National Planning Department, the strengthening of Sisbén IV, the Multipurpose Cadastre, as well as the consolidation of social programmes such as Solidarity Income and VAT Refund, stand out.
Malcolm Deas – Malcolm is an Emeritus Fellow and Associate Member of the Latin America Centre, University of Oxford. He was a Fellow of St Antony’s College and University Lecturer in the Government and Politics of Latin America from 1966 until his retirement in 2008. His own research has been chiefly on the nineteenth and twentieth century history of Colombia. He has written on caciquismo, the history of taxation, civil wars, coffee, insecurity and its economic consequences, the interaction of local and national politics, the interpretation of violence and many other themes. He has contributed to The New Statesman, The Listener, The Spectator, The London Review of Books and The Times. From 1990 to 1994 he was an advisor in Colombia to President César Gaviria’s Consejería de Seguridad y Defensa, which worked to design policies to reduce Colombia’s high levels of violence. His latest book Las fuerzas del orden, Taurus-Penguin Random House, Bogota, 2017, contains several chapters on Colombian military history.
Mauricio Rodríguez – Mauricio is the founder and editor of PORTAFOLIO – the leading financial newspaper of Colombia, president of CESA business school (his alma mater) and ambassador to the UK (2009 -2013). He has written eleven books about management, leadership and literature. Currently he lectures on Leadership at Externado University, serves on several boards of directors and writes articles for the leading media in Colombia.