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Strategic Nonviolent Action

The Regional Institute on the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action in the Americas

The Regional Institute is a partnership between two academic institutions in Ecuador, FLACSO and PUCE, and the NGO CEMPROC. They seek to promote sustainable learning in the study and practice of strategic nonviolent action in Latin America and the Caribbean. The mission of the Regional Institute on the Study and Practice of Nonviolent Action in the Americas is detailed below:

  • 1. To mantain a virtual platform that allows and encourages the exchange of nonviolent experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean through different mechanisms such as face-to-face and virtual courses, blogs and podcasts, among others;
  • 2. To disseminate and share the theory and practice of strategic nonviolent action in Latin America and the Caribbean;
  • 3. To promote the study and practice of strategic nonviolent action;
  • 4. To strength a dynamic regional network of grassroots activists and academics interested and/or involved in the study and practice of strategic nonviolent action.



Years of experience ❤️ around the world 🌍



USD are collected to help the people


From 2018 until May 2023, we received more than 609 applications for educational programs on nonviolence and 353 participated, with 19 countries represented

This shows the great interest that exists around this topic. Following the 2019 program, 67% of participants reported actively engaging in civil resistance campaigns and 74% reported applying the knowledge they gained to train others in nonviolent action and civil resistance.  Following the 2021 program, 83% of participants reported a strong increase in their strategic planning skills and 84% reported an increase in their use of communication methods, nonviolent discipline, and strategic planning taught in the program one year later.

Organizing Institutions

FLACSO Ecuador builds and disseminates knowledge in the field of social sciences and humanities through teaching along with critical and creative research.

They strive to contribute to the development of the diverse currents of Latin American and Andean thought, and to promote justice, equity, and social inclusion.

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE) is an academic community that rigorously and critically contributes to the protection and development of human dignity and cultural heritage through research, teaching, and the various services offered to local, national and international communities

CEMPROC aims to reduce destructive conflict and promote global peace, with a special interest in education and prevention.

Organizing Committee 2023

• María Belén Garrido, director general and facilitator

• Dr. Cécile Mouly, Professor, FLACSO Ecuador

• Dr. Jeffrey Pugh, President, CEMPROC and Professor, UMass Boston and Johns Hopkins University SAIS

• Paola Lozada, MA, Professor, PUCE

• Dr. Mónica Maher, Professor, FLACSO Ecuador

• Omar Rodríguez, Director, CEMPROC Ecuador

• Pryanka Peñafiel, Program Coordinator, CEMPROC


Our team

General Direction

María Belén Garrido (Ecuador)


She is a doctor from the Catholic University of Eichstätt/Ingolstadt, visiting professor and member of the peace and conflict research group at FLACSO,Ecuador. She  has several publications on civil resistance movements in the context of armed conflict and hybrid democracies. She has facilitated training programs in various areas such as nonviolent communication, conflict resolution, and civil resistance actions.

Pryanka Peñafiel Cevallos (Ecuador)

Coordinator y Facilitator

She is coordinator of the Regional Institute on the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action in the Americas. She holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from FLACSO Ecuador and is a doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.


Jeffrey Pugh (Estados Unidos)


Jeffrey Pugh (US) is an associate professor of conflict resolution at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the executive director of the Center for Mediation, Peace, and Resolution of Conflict (CEMPROC). He received his PhD in political science from the Johns Hopkins University. Pugh’s research focuses on peacebuilding and non-state actors in the Global South. His award-winning book, The Invisibility Bargain: Governance Networks & Migrant Human Security (Oxford University Press 2021), examines the integration, political participation, and access to human security of Colombian migrants in Ecuador. He was a 2014-15 Fulbright Scholar affiliated with FLACSO Ecuador, and he is the managing editor of Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies (MARLAS). Pugh has taught university courses on Negotiation, Nonviolent Action, Immigration & Conflict, Human Security, International Relations, Latin American Politics, among others.

Paola Lozada Lara (Ecuador)


Paola Lozada Lara has a master’s degree in international relations. She is Adjunct Professor in the Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE) where she teaches courses on negotiation and conflict resolution. She also gives classes in the Simón Bolivar Andean University on negotiation and fundraising. Her principal research focus revolves around peace studies and conflict resolution. In a similar vein, she has published refereed articles on national and international conflicts that involve nonviolence.

Mónica Maher (Estados Unidos)


Mónica Maher (US) PhD, is a Social Ethicist with decades of professional experience in Latin America. Currently, she teaches in the Gender, Violence and Human Rights Specialty at FLACSO-Ecuador and serves as Coordinator of the Latin American Program of Friends Peace Teams, dedicated to trauma healing and peace-building in Central America, Colombia and Ecuador. She has taught at Harvard University and Union Theological Seminary-New York, and received two Fulbright Fellowships and an International Rotary Peace Fellowship for her work. She holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard University, a Master of International Development from American University, a Master of Philosophy and a PhD (Ethics) from Union Theological Seminary.

Cécile Mouly (Francia)


Cécile Mouly is a research professor at FLACSO Ecuador and a member of the Academic Council of ICNC. In FLACSO Ecuador she coordinates the research group on peace and conflict; she teaches postgraduate courses on peace and conflict studies, and human rights; and she conducts research on peacebuilding, civil resistance and the reintegration of former combatants to civilian life. She holds a Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of Cambridge and has several academic publications on experiences of civil resistance in contexts of armed conflicts.

She has practical experience in the field of conflict transformation, peacebuilding and conflict prevention, as a former staff member and consultant of the United Nations, the OAS, The Carter Center and other organizations in various countries. She has facilitated training workshops on different topics related to peace and conflict.


Carlos Flores (Perú)

Blog podcast editor and producer

Journalist, political analyst and member of the Journalistic Community of Connectas Hub, Global Voices and Tejiendo Historias (intercultural network). Master in Political Science from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, FLACSO Ecuador. He has 20 years of experience in journalism and radio, with an emphasis on community and public radio. He has worked in international media such as the Latin American Association of Radio Education, ALER; and Ecuadorian media such as Public Radio of Ecuador, Pichincha Universal and FLACSO Radio (online media).

Omar Rodríguez Escobar (Ecuador)

director finance and logistics

He has been the director of CEMPROC Ecuador since 2010. He is a facilitator in human development and conflict mediator certified by the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE). He has trained more than 2,500 adults and children in Quito and other provinces of Ecuador, and has been interviewed several times on radio and television on the issues of school violence and conflict management. He is currently leading the “Growing in Peace” project whose goal is to foster a culture of peace in school and at home.

Astrid Torres (Ecuador)

Technical and communication assistant

She is a journalist from the Salesian Polytechnic University, Guayaquil and studied at the School of Film in the University of Arts. She is the director and founder of Efecto Latam, an independent media outlet focused on human rights. As a journalist she has experience in politics, sexual and reproductive rights, culture and ecology. Her main lines of research are inequality, memory, symbolic violence, representations of women and informational capitalism. She has vast experience in the chronicle and audiovisual creation.

External moderators

Elthon Rivera Cruz (Nicaragua)

 I am the founder and president of the Initiative Bridges for Students of Nicaragua Association (Ipen), activist for the right to education and academic freedom, facilitator in Nonviolent Action and Peacebuilding topics. I am an columnist in the Blog En Movimiento and other digital media such as Confidencial Nicaragua and Aristegui Noticias.

Linda Y. Posso Gómez (Colombia)

Sociologist and Master in International Relations with a minor in Security and Human Rights. She has researched civil resistance processes in contexts of armed conflict. Currently, she works for the Victims Unit in Colombia, and leads the grassroots organization Manglar Innato, where she promotes peace initiatives.

Juan Manuel Tobar (Colombia)

Percussionist, Director of the Mambrú International Foundation, he holds a law degree from the University of Cauca and a master’s degree in International Relations from FLACSO Ecuador. He participated in the Regional Program for the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action in the Americas in 2020.