The VI ALICE Congress, organized by the Externado de Colombia University, concludes

Experts, researchers, campaign strategists, and political communication scholars, gathered to discuss communication and political crisis: the democratic challenge.

The Externado de Colombia University was the site, September 7-9, 2017, of the “VI Congress of the Latin American Association of Electoral Campaigns ResearchersALICE.” The Social Communication-Journalism, and the Finance, Government and International Relations Faculties, were the organizers of the event, which assembled 200 attendees.

FIRST Day: September 7, 2017

Among the sessions with the most attendees was the roundtable chaired by the President of ALICE, Ismael Crespo, who, together with Alberto Mora, Ignacio Zuasnábar, Jorge Gonzales, and Paulo Gontijo, presented and discussed new approaches in political consultancy.  Also, the table with participation by Externado Professors Victoria Elena González, Camilo Echandía, Luis Cabrera, and Angel Beccassino who, coordinated by researcher Eugénie Richard, discussed the rhetoric of peace and war in Colombia.

The first day, the Congress had 122 attendees and over 40 presentations.

SECOND Day: September 8, 2017

The second day was the official inauguration, with welcoming remarks by Externado de Colombia rector, Juan Carlos Henao, who stressed the value of communication in Government and its need to work on controversial social issues, such as homosexuality, corruption, and citizen inclusion in politics.

The inaugural conference, “Communication strategies in the peace process in Colombia,” was presided by publicist, political strategist, and Externado Professor, Angel Beccassino. He was joined by Pilar Calderón, former communication Advisory Minister to the Colombian Presidency, and Marisol Gómez, editor of the peace process for the newspaper El Tiempo, who discussed communication strategy in the peace process and the results of the plebiscite. The speakers highlighted, among other issues, the marked differences between the more emotional “NO” communication strategies, and the more rational “YES” strategies.

On the second day, 13 roundtables were held; among them, the “Contemporary political campaigns: between the digital scene and local behavior,” coordinated by Externado Professor Diego Mazorra, together with speakers Hernando Rojas, Angel Beccassino, César Caballero, and Carlos Andrés Arias.

Also highlighted was the table directed by Carlos Muñiz titled “Media effects and political attitudes,” with a large audience participation; among the presentations were “Speech and polarization;” “Trump and Mexico on bilateral relationships on migration and free trade,” and “Children political socialization process”, a comparative study of the media role vs. the family environment, coordinated by Professor Alma Rosa Saldierna, from the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León.

THIRD Day: September 9, 2017

On the final day, 27 papers were presented and, also, the research project “Negative political advertising in Latin America” by expert Martín Echeverría.

The sessions with the most participation were “The ‘post-truth’ in campaigns and Colombian politics,” presented by Externado de Colombia Professor José Fernando Flórez, together with journalists Yesid Lancheros and Cristián Bravo.  Also, the session  “Media and democracy in Central America,” coordinated by Gina Sibaja, ALICE, Vice President, which analyzed different political and communicational phenomena, such as censorship and political militancy in countries such as El Salvador and Costa Rica.