Faces of Violence: Understanding Colombia’s Conflict through the Lens of Jesús Abad Colorado

Renowned Colombian photographer Jesús “Chucho” Abad Colorado has spent the last 30 years documenting the atrocities of his country’s armed conflict, the faces of its victims and the related damage to its diverse and rich ecosystems. In collaboration with María Belén Sáez de Ibarra, Director of the Center for Cultural Heritage at Colombia’s National University, Abad has curated his first series of photography books, which tell the stories of thousands of victims of the ongoing armed conflict. The series, collectively titled “The Witness,” complements both his permanent exhibit in Bogotá and his Netflix documentary of the same name.

This edited volume comes at a critical moment for Colombia’s long-standing memory and truth-telling processes. The country’s Truth Commission recently released their final report, and the Special Jurisdiction of Peace (JEP) has advanced on important prosecutions against military officers and former FARC guerilla commanders. Meanwhile, renewed peace negotiations with remaining armed groups, including the National Liberation Army (ELN), have brought greater attention to the suffering of communities afflicted by continued armed conflict. The stories of victims —their faces, tragedies and resilience— will continue to be a part of Colombia’s path toward peace and reconciliation.

Join the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), Colombia’s National University and the Atlantic Council for the launch of “The Witness,” featuring reflections from Abad and Sáez on the human toll of armed conflict, the deep scars that violence creates on the environment, the resilience of victims and the voices of resistance for peace. A reception will follow the conversation.

This event will be hosted in Spanish, with simultaneous English interpretation available both in-person at USIP’s headquarters and as part of the online livestream.

Event Details 

October 13, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST

Washington, D.C.  

Please register by clicking here

Camila Hernandez, opening remarks

Senior Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, Atlantic Council


Jesús Abad Colorado

Colombian Photographer


María Belén Saez de Ibarra 

Curator and Director of the Center for Cultural Heritage, National University of Colombia


Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, closing remarks

Director for the Andes, WOLA


Tonis Montes, moderator

Program Officer, Latin America Program, USIP

By: Faces of Violence: Understanding Colombia’s Conflict through the Lens of Jesús Abad Colorado – WOLA