Legal research by Dr Luis Eslava featured in leading Colombian newspaper

Legal research into management of petty crime and criminals in the Global South by Kent International Law expert Dr Luis Eslava, has been featured in a leading newspaper (in print and online) in Colombia.

The article, headlined online as ‘Estos son los planes para que homicidios sigan a la baja en Cali’ was published by El País, an influential newspaper in the city of Santiago de Cali (Cali). Cali is the most populous city in southwest Colombia and has one of the highest number of homicides. The article reveals that, according to the latest police figures, there is a fall in the number of homicides in the city, a trend which the local Mayor’s Office is keen to maintain. Dr Eslava, whose research critically examined the experiences of young people from the Potrero Grande and Marroquín II neighborhoods in the east of the city, is quoted as urging the Mayor to address issues of social inequality amongst large numbers of young, unemployed people.

Dr Eslava undertook research on security and development in Cali together with Lina Buchely, an Assistant Professor at the Universidad ICESI in Colombia as part of a broader project on ‘Inclusionary Practices’ involving academics at Kent Law School and the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Brazil.

Inclusionary Practices is a collaborative research relationship led by Head of Kent Law School Professor Toni Williams as Principal Investigator and Professor Fabricio Polido from UFMG as co-investigator. The project, funded by a British Academy’s International Partnership and Mobility Award, investigates how different forms of law and regulation are used to implement social and economic inclusion policies in Latin America and the EU.

Dr Eslava and Lina Buchely have also written an article on security and development, using Cali as a case study, which will feature in Revista de Estudios Sociales – a leading social sciences journal in Latin America. The article, which will be published in English next year, was accepted for a special issue on law and post-conflict in Colombia. Dr Eslava and Lina have been supported in their work by grants from Kent Law School and ICESI. They plan to apply for further funding to enable them to conduct more sustained fieldwork visits in Colombia.

Senior Lecturer Dr Eslava is Co-Director of the Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL) at Kent. He is also Senior Fellow and Visiting Scholar (2018) at Melbourne Law School in Australia. His book Local Space, Global Life: The Everyday Operation of International Law and Development (Cambridge University Press, 2015) was awarded the Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize and the Prize for Early Career Academics by the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) in 2016.

Lina Buchely is Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at ICESI’s School of Law.