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April 11, 2023

Seeking Truth: The Challenges and Achievements of Colombia’s Truth Commission

Event Series: Spotlight on the Americas

Father de Roux speaks with a blue and grey curtain behind him

In 2016 the Colombian government signed a historic peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerillas, ending half a century of conflict. As part of the agreement, Colombia created a Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence, and Non-Repetition, charged with investigating and clarifying major human rights violations and shedding light on the causes and origins of the conflict. Rev. Francisco De Roux, S.J., led a group of 11 commissioners and a staff of 3,000 in compiling the commission’s final report, presented in the summer of 2022. 

The Georgetown Americas Institute and the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame are pleased to welcome Rev. Francisco De Roux to talk about his experience as chair of the commission; the findings, challenges, and successes during his five years leading the effort; and his personal reflections on the role of truth commissions in countries torn by conflict. The conversation with Rev. De Roux will be moderated by Georgetown Americas Institute Managing Director Denisse Yanovich and Founding Director Alejandro Werner. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Georgetown Americas Institute at Georgetown University and the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame.


Rev. Francisco de Roux, S.J., is a visiting fellow with the Georgetown Americas Institute and a Colombian Jesuit priest, economist, and philosopher. He was the chair of Colombia’s Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence, and Non-Repetition and is widely recognized for his work towards peacebuilding, reconciliation, and dignity for the victims of the Colombian armed conflict. Rev. de Roux has written or co-authored several books in various languages on issues of public ethics, social conflict, and development. Among his most prominent texts are Los Precios de la Paz (1987) and La audacia de la paz imperfecta (2018). He studied philosophy and theology at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, as well as economics at Universidad de los Andes. He was a research student at the London School of Economics and obtained a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Paris, Sorbonne. In 2016 he received an honorary doctorate from the Higher Council of the National University of Colombia.

Denisse Yanovich (moderator) is the managing director of the Georgetown Americas Institute. Prior to joining Georgetown she was the deputy to the president at the Inter-American Dialogue, a leading think tank on Latin America. She was a counselor at the Embassy of Colombia in Washington, DC, managing their Public Diplomacy Program, and a research associate at Fedesarrollo, an economic policy think tank in Colombia. Yanovich holds a B.S. and M.A. in economics from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá and M.A. in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University College, London.