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Building a Culture of Peace


Armando José Mercado Vega, MA

Armando is a political scientist with a master’s degree in social conflict and peacebuilding from the University of Cartagena. He has research and published works focus on the relationship between local governance and political violence, armed conflict and agrarian reform in the Colombian Caribbean coast. He worked at the Fundación Cívico Pro Cartagena the Observatory of the Cartagena City Council and Assembly,  and at the Cartagena Regional Social Foundation. He’s an occosational columnist for the newspaper El Universal and the website Razón Pública. He is currently the director of the Political Science and International Relations Program at the Technological University of Bolívar. 

Maribel Martinez, BA Social Work

Maribel is a social worker who works with vulnerable populations, particularly immigrants and women victims of the armed conflict. She is currently the community coordinator at Fundación Ladysmith, a feminist research consultancy where she coordinates tech-based projects for the project Cosas de Mujeres. In this role, she led the development of a WhatsApp-based hotline to connect Colombian and Venezuelan women with each other and with psychological and socio-economic services offered by the national and local governments. 

Marlon Márquez Guardo, BA Political Science and Sociology

Marlon is a political scientist who currently works at Caribe Afirmativo, an organization that advocates for the civil rights of sexually diverse populations. Marlon works as a human rights researcher; in this position he has investigated the impacts of violence and the participation of the LFGTQI+ community in the peace building process.  

Mauri Balanta Jaramillo

Mauri is a journalist, activist, community organizer, and researcher who develops and facilitates political empowerment programs in the Pacific Coast area of Colombia. She has produced community-based documentaries, books, and research projects. She is currently the director of communication and cultural management at Casa Cultural El Chontaduro, an organization based in Cali that advocates for the rights of Black women and marginalized populations. She is also the representative for Latin America of the Federation for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Germany (LSVD)