From Conflict Actor to Architect of Peace? The Colombian National Police

Please register in advance for this event. Please arrive to the Zoom room 5 minutes before the event is due to start.

We are delighted to invite you to the first edition of the Occasional CONPEACE Webinar Series. As part of this series, researchers of the programme CONPEACE ( – From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace (University of Oxford) and international guest speakers analyse security challenges in Latin America and beyond. They explore how security architectures need to be adapted to adequately anticipate and respond to changing security landscapes with a view to promoting people-centred security. In our first meeting, we will discuss the role of the Colombian National Police (CNP).

Despite the increase in popularity of policing research, the CNP has remained largely unstudied. There is little public or academic understanding of the inner workings of the CNP, which means that researchers studying this subject are left to grapple with a significant amount of convoluted, complex data. In her talk, Laura Gutiérrez (University of Cambridge) will discuss some of the findings that emerged from fieldwork in a police station in Bogotá. She will address institutional development, policing practice and gender in the police force through some examples that will illustrate the complexity that we encounter when attempting to understand what it means to be police in Colombia.

After the talk, Markus Hochmüller (University of Oxford) will discuss Laura’s findings against the background of the debate on security governance reform in post-Peace Agreement Colombia. The event will conclude with a Q&A moderated by Annette Idler (University of Oxford).

Speaker bios:

Laura Gutiérrez is a Colombian researcher who has recently completed a PhD in Criminology at the University of Cambridge. She holds an LL.B. with a minor in Criminal Justice and Human Rights (Maastricht University), an MA in Global Criminology (Utrecht University) and an MPhil in Criminological Research (University of Cambridge). Her work has covered the Colombian police, as well as state-corporate crime as related to the gold mining business in Colombia.

Markus Hochmüller is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Changing Character of War Centre’s CONPEACE Programme, Pembroke College, University of Oxford. He is also an Affiliate Member of Oxford’s Latin American Centre and Co-PI of the research project “The Comeback of the Latin American Armed Forces” (funded by the Oxford/Berlin Research Partnership). Markus holds a PhD in Political Science from Freie Universität Berlin, and his research focuses on security and development in Latin America with an emphasis on peace -and state-building, security sector reform, and border governance.

Annette Idler is the Director of Studies at the Changing Character of War Centre, Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, and at the Department of Politics and International Relations. She is also a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Annette holds a DPhil in Development Studies (Oxford Department of International Development) and is the author of “Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War” (Oxford University Press, 2019). Her research interests lie at the interface of conflict, security and transnational organised crime, especially drug trafficking as well as terrorism, peace building and governance.