Mariana Casij Peña


Mariana Casij Peña is an Associate at the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT), leading the Law and Peace Practice Group and the Peace Treaty Initiative.

She guided IFIT’s research on negotiating with violent criminal groups, advised the countering violent extremism project, and played key roles in El Salvador, Nigeria, and the Gambia. For the past 6 years, she has also led IFIT’s work on transitional justice in Colombia.

Prior to joining IFIT, Mariana worked with the Presidential Advisor for Human Rights in Colombia and served as a legal adviser for the Victims Unit during the negotiations between the Colombian Government and the FARC, as well as during the subsequent implementation phase. She also worked for the Victims Unit on national cases of collective reparations and as a consultant for the Transitional Justice Directorate of the Colombian Ministry of Justice.

Mariana also previously taught at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, in areas of memory, transitional justice, and human rights.

She holds a BA in Law from the Universidad Javeriana and a Master’s degree in Human Rights and Democratisation from the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation.

Her focus areas include transitional justice, amnesties, accountability, reparations and reconciliation.

Mariana Casij Pena headshot


The Nature of Polarization and its Implications for Advancing Belonging within Contexts of Democratic Decline
Polarization has been used to describe the political and social realities of societies across the world. To a certain degree, it has been overused so much that it has become a blanket term to describe an array of diverse realities.