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Michael Reed Hurtado


Michael Reed Hurtado is the Director of Governance and Operations of The Guernica Centre for International Justice in the United States.  He is based in the Washington DC metropolitan area.


Michael is a Colombian/US lawyer and journalist with over 25 years of experience in the fields of human rights, criminal justice and humanitarian action, mainly in Latin America, with sporadic work in Asia and Africa.  He is recognized as an outstanding Latin American practitioner and academic, with specialization in international humanitarian law applicable to non-international armed conflict, international and comparative criminal law, and various areas of international human rights law (including due process, protection of persons deprived of liberty, due diligence in criminal investigation, and protection of persons against enforced disappearances).  In additional to legal and institutional reform work, Michael has extensive experience in humanitarian protection; he worked in active conflict areas in Colombia and Afghanistan, amongst others.


Throughout his career, Michael has strived to combine research and advocacy, in order to ensure evidence-based practice and leverage the potential of information technology in documenting atrocities.  He led an innovative documentation initiative within the Office in Colombia of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) that used data mining tools and information systems in order to process large amounts of data, and analyze organizational wrongdoings and patterns of abuse.


Throughout his career, he has been responsible for the strategic and operational conduction of non-governmental organizations, both national and international (including, program and project design, management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation).  


Michael also teaches at Georgetown University, focusing on state crime, dynamics and causes of collective violence, denial and the sociology of lying, and practical dimensions of transitional justice and negotiated peace settlements.  Previous to moving to the DC-metropolitan area, he was a faculty fellow at Yale University and Yale Law School.  


Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Minnesota.  Due to his internationally recognized experienced and knowledge in the field, he has served as an expert witness before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on legal issues, case analysis, and contextual and situational analysis.

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