Alvaro Ramirez is an Ecuadorian lawyer with additional studies in Conflict Resolution, Mediation and International Instruments for the Protection of Human Rights, with extensive experience in the Latin America and Caribbean region developing, monitoring and advocating for projects. Although he was born in Quito, he has lived in Guayaquil since 1997, where he has had many professional opportunities, especially on issues related to conflict resolution, human rights, and governance. As part of the “Ser Paz Foundation” (1999 – 2000), Alvaro was involved in projects on nonviolence and conflict resolution in the public sector and working with street gangs.
From September 2002 until September 2010, he served as Regional Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean for Nonviolent Peaceforce, an international organization that promotes peace and social justice, developing tools and concepts for Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping and International Accompaniment under the philosophy of nonviolence. During his 10 years as Regional Coordinator, Alvaro developed good relations with other Latin American and Caribbean NGOs that then became involved as Nonviolent Peace Force members, for example in Mexico (SERPAJ –Cuernavaca), Guatemala (Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo, Fundación Rigoberta Menchu), Adolfo Perez Esquivel in Argentina, FIME Argentina, and other organizations in Honduras , Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Brasil, Argentina, etc. As Regional Coordinator Alvaro was charged not only with regional representation at the political level (with governments, international organizations, military forces, faith groups, etc) but also with local and grassroots organizations, developing in Guatemala a project that mobilized international accompaniment for human rights defenders. He also conducted research in Mexico, Colombia, and Honduras, as well as project monitoring, evaluation and fundraising throughout the region.
Later, he became involved in risk and disaster management as a consultant for the UNDP and WFP in Ecuador, developing strategies to work with international agencies, government institutions, armed forces, and other actors in situations with natural disasters. Last year, Alvaro worked as the Director of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in the Ecuadorian Ministry of Defense, and he currently is an independent lawyer and human rights defender.