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2003 - 2004 Academic Year


University Consortium on the Global South

presents a one-day workshop on

Social Movements & Globalization:
Resistance or Engagement

Friday, April 2nd 2004
9:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Founders Senior Common Room
305 Founders College
York University
Toronto, Ontario

Free public event - Preregistration requested

The University Consortium on the Global South is a new collaborative initiative that aims to encourage academic engagement with the Global South, broadly defined. Its initiators, most of whom have been working with a particular regional focus (e.g., Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East), recognize that problems and issues increasingly transcend such regional boundaries. The endeavour is based on a common interest to establish a shared academic space for dialogue and research among graduate students, faculty members, social activists, policymakers, visiting scholars and speakers, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations. It will also engage in educational activities oriented to undergraduate students.

This initiative arises from a growing recognition that orthodox development practices are not conducive to equitable and sustainable human development. Widespread social exclusion and human insecurity, as well as a deep crisis of global institutions, are feeding an upsurge of resistance at the grassroots, national, and international levels. Diverse though they are, these social movements share in the quest for alternative practices that focus on equity and social justice, an assertion of local knowledge, the celebration of cultural diversity, and a renewed demand for autonomy in every sphere of life.

For those interested in attending the workshop, pre-registration is recommended.There is no registration fee; this is a free event. However, for lunch - which will be offered to pre-registered participants - a $7 contribution is recommended.

To register, please send your name, status (grad student, faculty, etc), affiliation, and email address to Miguel Gonzalez (, phone 416-736-5237, fax  416-736-5737.

For more information, contact Miguel Gonzalez ( 

Program for the workshop

9:15 AM  Registration / coffee
9:30 AM  Introduction
Ricardo Grinspun (CERLAC) & Peter Vandergeest (YCAR)
9:45 AM – 12:00 PM Panel Discussion: Issues on Social Movements
Chair: Peter Vandergeest (YCAR)
  • Peasant Enterprises and Rural Social Movements in Mexico - Judy Hellman (Division of Social Science)
  • The 'Movement of Movements' and the New Internationalism: Palestinian, Colombian and Argentinean Solidarity Campaigns in Perspective - Joel Hardin (PhD cand., Political Science)
  • The Reformed State and Civil Society Resistances in Zimbabwe - Richard Saunders (Political Science)
  • The Evolution of Intimate Praxis: From the Nestle Boycott to Toxic Breasts - Penny Van Esterik (Anthropology)
  • Feeding Social Transformation: From Popular Food Education to Transnational Action - Deborah Barndt (Environmental Studies)
12:00 – 1:00 PM Lunch Break (light lunch to be offered to pre-registered participants; suggested contribution: $7)
1:00 – 3:15 PM Panel Discussion: Current Research on Social Movements
Chair: Ananya Mukherjee (HDDG)
  • Territorial Autonomy in Mesoamerica: With or Without State Consent. The Case of the Zapatista Autonomous Territories in Chiapas, Mexico, and of the Autonomous Regions in Nicaragua. A Preliminary Analysis - Miguel Gonzalez (PhD cand., Political Science)
  • Fair Trade Coffee: Developing a Theoretical Framework - Gavin Fridell (PhD cand., Political Science)
  • Understanding Palestinian Social Movements: Problems of Research and Method - Adam Hanieh and Rafeef Ziadah (PhD cand., Political Science)
  • The Strategic Context of Resistance Movements in Colombia and Venezuela - Justin Podur (journalist, ZNet/Z Magazine)
3:15 – 3:30 PM
3:30 – 4:30 PM
Business Meeting of the Consortium
Chair:Ricardo Grinspun (CERLAC)
Restaurant (each one pays; friends and children welcome)
Finch Garden Restaurant, tel: 416-665-1885, located at 4580 Dufferin Street (N-W intersection of Dufferin and Finch). 

We need confirmation of how many people are coming by noon on Friday: please inform Miguel or the registration table on Friday morning. 
Cost of food per person: $12.95. 
We will arrange rides from the workshop venue to the restaurant, and from the restaurant to the subway station. Family and friends invited. 

About the Consortium

The Consortium purports to be an open and inclusive forum where participants will engage with a broad spectrum of critical perspectives on the Global South. It will provide a venue for trans-disciplinary approaches to these issues and for reaching beyond regional limits; it will stimulate new forms of doing  critical research by encouraging methodologies such as action research; and it will also encourage critical analysis of Canadian policies toward the Global South.

The Consortium is a transparent and open institutional initiative based at York University. It will serve as a university-based umbrella that will organize a variety of research, education and dissemination activities. Although initiated by a group of York units, other academic units at York and in other universities, as well as civil society organizations, are invited to join if they agree with the basic principles of the consortium. During the afternoon session of the workshop, we will hold the first business meeting of the Consortium to explore common action and strategy. We invited interested units and individuals to participate.

The University Consortium on the Global South currently includes:  The African Studies Program - Business and Society Program - Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean  - International Development Studies Program  - Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program – International Secretariat for Human Development and Democratic Governance - York Centre for Asian Research.  We acknowledge institutional support from the AUCC/CIDA funded York University-Catholic University of Temuco, Chile linkage project based at the Centre for Research on Latin American and the Caribbean.

RE-SCHEDULED: this event, originally announced for March 24, will now take place on March 30.

CERLAC, LACS, the Department of Political Science, and the Divisions of Social Science and of of Humanities at York

Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine
Co-leader of the Working Peoples' Alliance (WPA) party

speaking on

Anti-Racism, Party Politics, and the Left in the Guyanese Context

Former Member of Parliament, Guyana, and present Co-Leader of the Working People's Alliance Party (a multi-racial socialist party, founded by the late Walter Rodney), Rupert Roopnaraine has been actively engaged in the processes of 'decolonizing' Guyana since the 1970s. He has also participated in wider missions, in Zimbabwe, Zanzibar, and throughout the Caribbean. Rupert Roopnaraine has taught Comparative literature at Columbia and Cornell Universities. He has most recently published a book  Primacy of the Eye: the Art of Stanley Greaves, (Peepal Tree Press, March 2004), a study of the foremost Guyanese modern artist.

Prof. Fred Case, of Caribbean Studies in the University of Toronto, calls Roopnaraine "The only rational voice in Guyana," and suggests there is no better time to listen to him, as every day someone else is killed in Guyana in racial strife. Professor Arnold Itwaru, also of U of T, considers him an engaging speaker and "an important Guyanese intellectual with respectable insight into the politics of power there."

Roopnaraine will speak on peace and conflict in Guyana, as means to launch a broader discussion on Left politics today in the Caribbean, emphasizing his personal history in the anti-racism movement.

RE-SCHEDULED: this event, originally announced for March 24, will now take place:

Tuesday, March 30, 2004
2:30 - 4:00 pm
Founders Senior Common Room
305 Founders College, York University


'The Art of Martin Carter (poet laureate) and Stanley Greaves (artist) of Guyana'
Talk at OCAD, Thursday, March 25th, 3:30 pm
Drawing on his original research, Rupert Roopnaraine will discuss the Guyanese context of these two acclaimed artists as well as discuss their work and meaning.

'The Left in the Caribbean'
Talk at the Institute for Women’s Studies and Gender Studies lounge, 2nd Floor, 40 Willcocks St., New College, University of Toronto, Thursday, March 25th, 6:30 pm
Rupert Roopnaraine will speak about the radical experiments of the Left in the Caribbean in the last few decades, and highlight the lessons learnt for the present generation of Caribbean youth and the wider Left.

SUNDAY, MARCH  28TH, 4 P.M. - 7 P.M.
Sunday March 28th  4 - 7 pm
at the Scarborough Village RC,
3600 Kingston Road, Kingston and Markham.
Tel  No. 416- 396-4048
 Sponsored by Guyana Forum
Contact: Jai Parsram 416-581-5999

Background information:
  • Various readings, links on current affairs in Guyana
  • 1997 WPA webpage on Roopnaraine
  • WPA statement on the 21st anniversary of Walter Rodney's Assassination
  • More information about the York event:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705
    More information about the OCAD and U of T events:,

    CERLAC & RCDG present
    A Brown Bag Seminar

    Grassroots Activism in Argentina:
    Challenges and Experiences of a Neighbourhood Assembly in Buenos Aires

    Shana Shubs
    MES candidate, York University

    Following the massive protests in Argentina in 2001, grassroots organizing and activities have transformed public spaces and social networks throughout the country.  The unemployed movement, worker-occupied factories, neighbourhood assemblies, and alternative media collectives nourish a lively culture of protest and creative experimentation with radical alternatives.

    Shana has recently returned from five months in Buenos Aires where she participated in a number of different activities and organizations.  Her presentation will focus on the experiences of one neighbourhood assembly and its various activities – including the construction of autonomy, anti-FTAA organizing, extensive solidarity work and ongoing reflection – to enter into a
    discussion of the struggles, debates and challenges in grassroots activism in Argentina today.

    Thursday, March 25
    2:30 - 4:00 pm
    305 York Lanes
    York University

    Background readings:
    Argentina - 18 Months of Popular Struggle  Article by James Petras, May 2003.  Provides useful (although hotly debated) background on the political and economic situation in Argentina leading up to
    and following the uprising in December 2001.

    The People's Assemblies in Argentina by Evan Henshaw-Plath. An outdated but nonetheless useful and interesting article on neighbourhood assemblies in Argentina.

    Argentina Indymedia A great source of up-to-date debate, analysis, photos... Most articles available in Spanish only.

    RONDA DE PENSAMIENTO AUTÓNOMO ENCUENTRO INTERNACIONAL.  The website for a recent international gathering on autonomy in Buenos Aires – available in English, Spanish, French and other languages...

    Some websites of neighbourhood assemblies in the city of Buenos Aires. Spanish only.
    Asamblea Almagro
    Asamblea Palermo Viejo

    More information, contact:, 416-736-5237

    NOTE: This event will NOT take place on Monday March 22, as originally announced. See the new date, time and venue below.

    Founders College, LACS, the Division of Humanities, and CERLAC

    Surrealism, Ethnography and
    Contemporary Haitian Writing

    a seminar with
    J. Michael Dash
    Professor of Francophone Literature and Director of Africana Studies, New York University
    Ph.D. University of the West Indies (Mona Jamaica); B.A. University of the West Indies
    The 2004 Jagan-Baptista Lecturer

    Drawing on the rich and complex cultural politics of twentieth century Haiti, Professor Dash will address the work of major Haitian authors including Jacques Stephen Alexis, René Depestre, and the renowned Haitian Canadian writer, Dany Laferrière.

    New date, time and venue for this event

    Tuesday, March 23, 2004
    10:30 am - 12:00 pm

    Social Science Lounge
    (Room S752, Ross Bldg.)
    York University

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

    The Division of Social Science and The Graduate Programme in Women's Studies at York,
    LACS, the Centre for Feminist Research, and CERLAC


    with Visiting Speaker
    Adriana Gracia Piscitelli
    (Guggenheim Fellow; Senior Researcher,  Núcleo de Estudos de Gênero-PAGU, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil)

    In this presentation, Dr. Piscitelli  will examine the factors informing and promoting the migration of  women from Fortaleza in  Northeast Brazil to European countries, either to marry foreigners who visited Brazil as tourists in search of sex and/or to engage in sex work. Considering the experiences of women involved with sex tourists, she will argue that the style of migration should be considered carefully, without automatically labeling it as forced prostitution.  She will also argue that women's agency in the context of those transnational movements can only be
    understood by taking into account the economic and, above all, the cultural and political aspects that inform them. Piscitelli develops these arguments drawing on research on young, low income, women from the Northeast of Brazil and on male European and American sex tourists, and considers the dynamics of those movements. She pays attention to how gender, sexuality, nationality, class and colour are set in motion in the processes of sexualization present in those encounters, considering how those differentiations are activated in the mutual perceptions of the foreigners and the local people and taking into account the plurality of dimensions (global and local) which are present in that context.
    Monday, March 22, 2004

    2:30 - 4:00 pm

    Social Science Lounge
    (Room S752, Ross Bldg.)
    York University
    Adriana Gracia Piscitelli , originally from Argentina, holds a  PhD in Social Science from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas/UNICAMP, São Paulo, Brazil, and works and publishes extensively on gender issues in Brazil. She is currently a researcher with O Núcleo de Estudos de Gênero - PAGU (The Centre for Gender Studies), an academic space that has, since 1993, promoted discussion and interdisciplinary research on gender issues. Dr. Piscitelli holds a 2003-2004 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.

    At the present moment she is engaged in studies focusing on the trajectories of Brazilian women who migrated to Europe invited by former sex tourists and on the images of Brazilian women disseminated in web sites that offer information for heterosexual sex tourists.

    A small selection of  recent and up-coming publications by Dr. Piscitelli:

    Between “gringos” and “natives”: gender and sexuality discussed in the context of international sex toruism in Fortaleza (in Portuguese) Completion expected by March, 2004.

    Embodying Gender (in Portuguese) Cadernos Pagu (14) 2000/ISSN 0104833, Campinas, São Paulo, UNICAMP, pp. 306. (Co-organized academic journal, with Maria Filomena Gregori).

    “Imperial Visions”: gender and sexuality discussed in the context of international sex toruism in Fortaleza (in Portuguese)  in: LASA GENDER STUDIES SECTION/UNIFEM, USA, m.s. pp. 36. (in press).

    “Comment about the  Sexual Traffic interview...” (in Portuguese), Cadernos PAGU, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil, V. 21, 2003, P. 211-219.

    “Gender, differences, and inequalities in contemporary worlds” (in Portuguese) in: Lua Nova, Rio de Janeiro, Serviço Social, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, m.s. pp. 24.

    “Prostitution and sexual consumption” (in Portuguese), in: Ciência Hoje na Escola, volume 2, Sexualidade, corpo, desejo e cultura.  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sociedade Brasileira para o Progresso da Ciência/SBPC-Fundação Bradesco.  Global Editora e Distribuidora, pp. 61-65, 2002

    “Gringos in the tropics: sex tourism, gender and nationality” (in Portuguese), in: Migrações Internacionais - Contribuições para Políticas, Brasil, editor: Mary Garcia Castro, Brasília, Brazil, Comissão Nacional de População e Desenvolvimento, pp.  589-613, 2001

    Suggested context literature:

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

    The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) presents

    ONE NO!  MANY YES(es)!

    Three participants from Canada report back from the III Hemispheric Conference against the Free Trade Area of the Americas held in Havana this January 26-30.


    Edgar S.Godoy - Chair of International Solidarity Committee, CUPE-Ontario

    Jasmin Hristov -M.A. Candidate, Sociology, CERLAC Graduate Associate

    Nicolas Lopez -Political Science student, Latin American Bolivarian Circle

    Thursday, March 18, 2004
    4 to 6:00 PM

    Room 390 York Lanes
    York University

    For more information please contact: Phil Courneyeur at 416 736 5237

    The Jagan Lecture & the Michael Baptista Lecture 2004 present

    A Caribbean Dialogue
    J. Michael Dash
    Professor of Francophone Literature and Director of Africana Studies, New York University
    Ph.D. University of the West Indies (Mona Jamaica); B.A. University of the West Indies.
    The Disappearing Island: 
    Haiti, History and the Hemisphere

    Saturday, March 20, 2004
    7:30 pm

    Vari Hall Lecture Room A
    York University, Keele Campus
    Toronto, ON

    with special guests
    Bernard Delpeche
    (Professor of French, Acadia University)
     David Rudder
    (Trinidad's foremost soca/calypso performer)
    On-going political turmoil has catapulted Haiti into the international spotlight in recent weeks.  Outside of such explosive moments, though, this island nation has remained largely invisible to international perception.  Its remarkable and instructive history, however, has much to teach us.

    Haiti has suffered more than 30 coups d’état in its 200-year existence. It was occupied by the US marines for 19 years and suffered decades of dictatorship under US client regimes during the last century. It is the poorest country in the hemisphere, and is now confronted with humanitarian crisis, social and political chaos, and another US occupation.

    In its epic birth as a nation, however, Haiti epitomized the universal human will toward freedom.  It became the second sovereign nation in the Americas and the first black republic in 1804, when its people, in the only successful slave rebellion in history, defeated French colonial rule.

    In recognition of Haiti's Independence Bicentennial this year, the 2004 Jagan and Baptista Lecture will commemorate this historic rebellion of the oppressed, will celebrate Haiti’s contributions to world culture, and will seek to provide a historic context within which to better understand current events.

    J. Michael Dash,born in Trinidad, has worked extensively on Haitian literature and French Caribbean writers, especially Edouard Glissant, whose works, The Ripening (1985) and Caribbean Discourse (1989) he has translated into English.  After 21 years at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, where he was Professor of Francophone Literature and Chair of Modern Languages, he is now Professor of French at New York University and Director of the Africana Studies Program. His publications include Literature and Ideology in Haiti (1981), Haiti and the United States (1988), Edouard Glissant (1995). His most recent translation is The Drifting of Spirits (1999) by Gisèle Pineau. His most recent books are The Other America: Caribbean Literature in a New World Context  (1998), Libete: A Haiti Anthology (1999) with Charles Arthur and Culture and Customs of Haiti (2001). He is at present working on Surrealism in the Francophone Caribbean.

    Suggested readings:

    This is a joint event of the Jagan Lecture Series and the Michael Baptista Lecture Series.

    It constitutes theFifth Annual Jagan Lecture, commemorating the life and vision of the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan, Caribbean thinker, politician, and political visionary, and the Third Bi-annual Baptista Lecture, named in honour of Michael Baptista.

    The event is co-organized by CERLAC, LACS, York International, and the Jagan Lectures Planning Committee


    A New World Perspective is not the product of polarizing, exclusivist politics or an attempt to create a new cultural enclave, but rather concerns itself with establishing new connections, not only among the islands of the archipelago but also exploring the region in terms of the Césairean image of that frail, delicate umbilical cord that holds the Americas together. 

    -- J. Michael Dash, The Other America


    Alternatives, The Centre for Social Justice, The Coalition to Support Indigenous Sovereignty, The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC, York University), The Transformative Learning Centre (OISE / University of Toronto), and The Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy (Ryerson University) proudly present
    a public forum with

    Aymara indigenous activist; leader of the cocalero (coca growers) movement & of the MAS (Movimiento Hacia el Socialismo) party of Bolivia; member of the Bolivian parliament; former & up-coming presidential candidate.

    Antonio Peredo
    Fellow member of the MAS; member of the Bolivian parliament; former & up-coming candidate for vice-president.

    Sunday, March 14, 2004
    6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    O.I.S.E. Auditorium
    252 Bloor Street West, Toronto


    Evo Morales
    Interview with Evo Morales Ben Dangl, Nov. 2003

    Interview with Evo Morales Yvonne Zimmermann 2002

    Basic intro to Morales from

    US Eyes Bolivia's Morales as Radical Who Has Nation's Ear Feb 4, 2004 

    US opposes selection of a socialist president Greenleft Weekly

    Profile: Evo Morales BBC News, October 2003

    Who is Evo Morales? Greenleft, July 2002

    Coca Farmers' Hero Holds Sway in Bolivia

    Evo Morales and opposition to the US in Bolivia By Erin Ralston July 14, 2002

    Entrevista a Evo Morales
    por Alèxia Guilera Madariaga

    El neoliberalismo es la reedición del capitalismo salvaje - Entrevista con Evo Morales 

    Entrevista realizada a Evo Morales (video)

    Información sobre Morales en español

    Antonio Peredo 
    Various articles authored by Peredo (en español)

    The "gas war" in Bolivia

    Q&A: Bolivian gas protests BBC News

    Background info on Bolivian Gas War

    Bolivia's Gas War by Troy Skeels 

    Bolivia's Gas War by Ben Dangl September 2003

    Divisions Deepen in Bolivia's Gas War Ben Dangl Oct 2003

    Security forces massacre `gas war' protesters by Ben Dangl

    Coca politics:

    Evo Still on Hunger Strike Narco News 2002

    Evo Morales presention to the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs June, 1998

    Bolivia wages war on the coca leaf BBC News 2000

    Bolivian Growers Want to Reverse Coca-Eradication

    Uprising In Bolivia Blamed On U S Anti-Drug Policy

    Stop America's War On Bolivian Farmers

    A Witch-Hunt Against Coca Farmers

    Bolivia's bloody October: Coca farmers blame `gringos' for harsh repression


    Bolivia: The Country That Wants to Exist, by Eduardo Galeano, 2003.

    ZNet's Bolivia Watch

    In this free public event, Evo Morales and Antonio Peredo will speak about the resurgence of leftist movements in Latin America; the rise of indigenous politics in the region; the vision of their party, the MAS (Movement Toward Socialism); and their roles in the popular mobilizations that recently upset the political scene in Bolivia - unseating  former President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and inspiring  opponents of corporate-driven neoliberal globalization world-wide.

    Antonio Peredo & Evo Morales (centre) celebrate the electoral gains of the MAS in 2002.

    Evo Morales, a member of the Bolivian parliament and a leader of the MAS (Movement Toward Socialism) party,  almost won Bolivia’s presidency in 2002.

    After that he played a major role in the massive popular uprising that started as a protest against a plan to export natural gas to the US.  The protest, indicative of more widespread discontent, led to the resignation of President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada in October 2003.  Lozada was widely disliked for his promotion of damaging neoliberal policies and for his harsh repression of social protest. 

    Morales has since emerged as Bolivia's top political leader and enjoys extensive popularity throughout the region, though he is viewed with great suspicion by Washington.

    "The FTAA is a plan of hunger and misery."
    An Aymara indigenous leader in a predominantly indigenous nation, Morales promotes a return to native community values and has characterized recent social upheaval as “an Indian up-rising against the white minority elite.” Morales opposes US-driven coca-eradication policies and favours legalizing coca as a traditional part of Andean culture. 
    "We, the indigenous people, after 500 years of resistance, are re-taking the power."
    He is also an outspoken opponent of the neoliberal economic program promoted by the US and the international financial institutions it dominates. His advocacy of policies to benefit the neediest sectors of society, rather than big business, resonates within Bolivia, where 60% of the population live in poverty, and is well-received throughout this region where the majority have suffered only the negative effects of corporate-led globalization. 
    "For the first time in 17 years, neoliberalism is going to have an active opposition. We are going to legislate for Bolivia and not for the transnationals."
    Morales entered the world of political organizing as a peasant from the town of El Chapare, where he first farmed rice and later turned to the production of coca.  When locals organized a small producers union, he soon became its general secretary.  In this capacity, he dedicated his efforts to the co-ordination of unions throughout the county, later organizing a federation of coca leaf producers in the Cochabamba region.
    "I am not a drug trafficker. I cultivate the coca leaf... I do not refine it into cocaine, and neither cocaine nor drugs have ever been a part of Andean culture."
    By 1997 he became a national leader and member of the Bolivian Parliament on behalf of the MAS, and was chosen as that party's presidential candidate. In the last presidential election he obtained almost the same number of votes as the electoral winner, Sánchez de Lozada, who, as noted, later resigned from government in the face of protests by a coalition of social and political organizations led by Morales  and the MAS.
    "For Lozada's resignation, we owe thanks to intellectuals, professionals, and above all to the struggle of the indigenous peasant front, who managed to get rid of part of the political mafia in Bolivia."
    Antonio Peredo is the youngest of the Peredo brothers who fought alongside Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Bolivia in the late 1960s.  One of the founders of the MAS, he is a journalist by profession who has produced important pieces promoting a new approach to leftist politics.  Like Evo, Antonio is an elected member of the Bolivian Parliament representing the MAS. 

    The MAS, created to serve as the 'political arm' of various civil society organizations, including labour and peasant groups, self-defines itself ideologically as constituting a convergence of 'indigenistas', social democrats, and Marxist tendencies. 

    Additional sponsors: 

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705


    CERLAC, RCDG, the Business & Society Program at York, & GlobalAware Canada

    Canadian Connections
    to Oil Exploitation in Ecuador's Amazon


    Luis Merino
    former Director of Environmental Protection in Cuyabeno, Ecuador
    Nadja Drost
    filmmaker and campaigner on Oil in Ecuador with GlobalAware
    GlobalAware Canada is sponsoring this speaking tour to raise awareness on Canadian involvement in oil exploitation in Ecuador's Amazon and its environmental and social impacts, and to engage Canadians in becoming active on issues of Canadian corporations' activities abroad.
    Thursday, March 11, 2004
    2:30 - 5:00 p.m.

    305 York Lanes
    York University


    Canadian oil company EnCana is currently the target of local and international outrage due to its involvement in the environmental contamination, human rights violations, and social turmoil experienced by Ecuadorian communities.  EnCana has come under fire for its Amazonian drilling operations and its lead role in the construction of a new 500 km-long oil pipeline, known as the OCP (Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados).

    The pipeline's route is an environmental disaster waiting to happen:  it crosses 94 seismic fault lines, passes 6 active volcanoes, and bisects farmland and 7 protected areas.  Landowners and activists opposed to the project have been subjected to intimidation, assault, and illegal imprisonment, carried in large part by security forces contracted by the oil companies. Furthermore, the OCP is expected to double oil production in the Amazon, affecting the territories of indigenous groups who are opposed to any oil activity.  Their opposition is largely based on the experiences of those living in oil-producing regions, such as where EnCana operates. Guest speaker Luis Merino will describe issues of environmental contamination, corruption, and security faced by people living where EnCana is drilling for oil.  Now, EnCana has conducted oil explorations in one of the world's most bio-diverse national parks, in order to fill the new pipeline.

    Despite massive opposition over two years in Ecuador and around the world to stop the pipeline, construction continued along with still-unresolved issues regarding the environment, human rights, and lack of transparency.  Though the pipeline is now complete, the struggles of Ecuadorian communities are not.  It is a crucial time in this struggle, as EnCana and other oil companies push further into the lands and communities of the Amazon. The rights of these indigenous Amazonian *communities to determine their own way of life is in jeopardy. Join us in generating debate and action on this important issue!


    Luis Merino is a community activist and the former Director of Environmental Protection in the area of Ecuador where EnCana is operating.  Mr. Merino will describe past and current issues in the areas where EnCana drills oil.  Nadja Drost of GlobalAware will be screening excerpts from her documentary "Pipedreams and Chameleons" which investigates why a Canadian company is mired in environmental and human rights controversies in Ecuador's Amazon.  Nadja has worked with the Toronto Environmental Alliance and GlobalAware Canada since 2002 to increase public awareness of and involvement in this critical issue.


    Contact:, 416-736-5237

    The Interdisciplinary African Studies Graduate Seminar, the Latin American Caribbean Studies Program, and CERLAC present

    The Contemporary as Absurdity:
    Reflections on Denials of Citizenship
    in the Anglophone Caribbean Postcolony

    Aaron Kamugisha
    (PhD Candidate, Social and Political Thought; Recipient of the 2003 Michael Baptista Essay Prize)

    Monday, March 8th, 2004
    2.30 - 4:00 pm
    Committee Room (202 C) Founders College
    York University

    Any attempt to account for the banality of significant features of life in the Anglophone Caribbean postcolony and to understand the despair of those who reflect seriously on the contemporary, requires interventions at several different levels.  This presentation proceeds on that basis, and attempts a philosophical critique of many aspects of life in the Caribbean, the common theme to all being the persistent denial of full citizenship to many persons within the nation-state. It thus hopes to continue the long process of uncovering what Kamau Brathwaite has called the “inner plantation”, and Paget Henry the “othering practices” of Caliban’s reason.
    For more information contact: Roberta Parris, Program Secretary, African Studies and LACS (416) 736-2100 x 20260, or CERLAC


    Pablo Ortiz
    Prof. of Latin American Studies in the Andean University “Simon Bolivar” in Quito Ecuador,
    and Researcher with the Foundation Comunidec and the Amazanga Institute of Pastaza in the Amazonian Region of Ecuador.

    speaking on

    Oil policies
    & the future of indigenous territories
    in the Ecuadorean Amazon

    In Ecuador, bitter conflicts have exploded with Indian groups in the Amazonian jungle regions of the northeast, where oil companies have caused extensive environmental damage and displaced Indian communities.  Prof. Ortiz will discuss his research on oil exploitation in the Ecuadorean Amazon: its environmental impacts, and the inspiring efforts of indigenous groups who confront corporate interests to protect their communities, their livelihoods, and their right to land.

    "Environmental conflicts will represent one of the guiding principles of the political agenda for the 21st century," Ortiz has proclaimed. Indeed, the Ecuadorean conflicts are telling case studies that represent the tip of the iceberg, as similar disputes are growing in many parts of the Amazon and in other regions of Latin America.

    Thursday, February 26, 2004
    2:00 – 3:30  p.m.

    305 York Lanes
    York University


    "The petroleum boom of the 1970s in the Ecuadoran Amazon detonated many bitter, prolonged conflicts with Indian villages and other rural communities that continue today," Pablo Ortiz notes.  In fact, the conflicts in Ecuador and other Amazonian countries inspired the Forests, Trees, and Rural-Communities Program (FTPP), run by the UN's  Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to carry out a special study of environmental conflicts in Andean countries. Ortiz was involved in this study, and co-authored the resulting report.

    Seven of Ecuador's 10 indigenous groups live in the Amazon region: the Achuar, Cofane, Huaorani, Quichua, Secoya, Shuar and Shion.  ''These people have suffered the invasion of their territory for centuries, by people seeking to reap the wealth of the Amazon. First the gold diggers, then the logging companies and finally the oil consortiums, ” says Ortiz. ''The historic struggle of these people has always been for the right to their own territory,'' he underlined.

    Their struggle has produced some notable outcomes: For example, an agreement between Ecuador's Achuar indigenous people and an Argentine oil firm was established the precedent that companies interested in operating in the country's Amazon region are to negotiate directly with indigenous groups living there.  As well, US oil giant Texaco currently faces a billion dollar lawsuit that representatives of 30,000 indigenous people and campesinos, affected by oil exploration and extraction in the northeastern provinces of Sucumbos and Orellana, have been working on for almost a decade.


    Prof. Pablo Ortiz holds doctoral degrees in the Sociology of Development from the Pontifica Universidade Catolica do Sâo Paulo, Brasil, and in Latin American Studies from the Andean University “Simon Bolivar.” He is currently engaged in a research project entitled “The Socio-cultural Impacts and Economic Activities of Exports in Ecuador,” based at Waterloo University. His publications include (in Spanish) the forthcoming article “Oil in the Indigenous Territories of Pastaza [Ecuador]” and the chapter “Local Development and Cultural Diversity” in  “Desarrollo Local. ¿Alternativa o Discurso Neoliberal?” (Universidad Politécnica Salesiana-Universidad de Valencia, Quito, 2003).
    READINGS Contact:, 416-736-5237


    The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean at York University

    Maya women, Structural Racism
    and the Politics of Representation in Guatemala

    A Brown Bag Seminar with
    (PhD candidate, Sociology, York University)

    Egla Martinez will discuss how racism and racialized processes constitute a structural everyday culture that has constructed Indigenous Peoples as 'inferiorized others.' The representations and images involved are not only symbolic artefacts of marginality but also tools of systemic classed, gendered, and racialized oppression.

    Mayan clothes, languages and culture; women's bodies; and the racialization of space by state terror are just few illustrations of historic and contemporary racism in Guatem ala that Egla will address.


    Thursday, February 26, 2004
    12:00 – 2:00 PM
    390 York Lanes
    York University

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

    CERLAC (York) and the Transformative Learning Centre (OISE)
    Invite you to a screening of

    Protest in front of the "Casa Rosada" (seat of government) in 
    Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    Building a New Argentina

    A documentary by Kathy Price

    In Spanish, 'basta' means 'enough'. And that's what Argentians are saying about economic policies of globalization that have brought their country to collapse. Half the population now lives below the poverty line. But social movements and neighbourhood groups aren't sitting still. They're challenging the system and creating new ways forward.

    "Basta - Building a new Argentina" examines the complex causes of Argentina’s crisis and shares stories of hope and resistance from the southern-most tip of our hemisphere, including the battle of the assembly of neighbours in Esquel, Patagonia, against Canada’s Meridian Gold.

    The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion

    Friday, February 13, 2004
    6:00 – 7:30 pm

    OISE, University of Toronto
    252 Bloor St. West (subway: St. George)
    7th floor, Room 162

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

     CERLAC and The Rural Community Development Group (RCDG)


    Pedagogy of the Land:
    The Political Education Programs of the Brazilian Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST)

    A Brown Bag Seminar with
    Erika Del Carmen Fuchs
    (MES candidate, FES, York University)

    Erika has just returned from five months in Brazil with the MST - learning, living, and practicing the MST’s political philosophy from within different spaces of the movement. In her presentation, she will share insights from her experiences and elaborate on her perception of the movement's "Pedagogia da Terra" (pedagogy of the land) - a pedagogy that responds to the needs of a marginalized rural population in a country where the corporate agrobusiness model thrives.

    The Brazilian Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) is currently one of the most well-organized  social movements in the world. Their specific approach to pedagogy is practised in their land occupations, MST encounters, their schools, and their specialized courses.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2004
    1:00 – 3:00 PM
    Room 278 York Lanes
    York University

    For background links on the MST, click here.

    Background reading:
    Globalization and Social Movements: A Brazilian Perspective A public lecture by João Pedro Stedile of the MST (Landless Workers Movement) of Brazil. January 2004.

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

    CERLAC and the RCDG are among the proud co-sponsors of

    Economic Justice, Environmental Sustainability
    and Cultural Identity
    in the New Millenium


    Thursday, February 5th, 2004
      Founders Senior Common Room
    305 Founders College
    York University

    Sign the York Fair Trade campaign on-line petition here.

    More on the campaign here.


    9:00-9:15  (Fair Trade) Coffee

    9:15-9:30Introduction Darryl Reed, Co-ordinator, Business & Society, York University
    9:30-10:30Keynote Address Laure Waridel, Equiterre

    10:30-10:45    Break

    10:45-12:15 Panel - Fair Trade and Sustainable Development in the South: The Case of Coffee

  • York's Las Nubes Sustainable Coffee and Rural Development in Costa Rica

  • Howard Daugherty, Environmental Studies, York University
  • The Partnership for Enhancing Agriculture in Rwanda through Linkages (PEARL)

  • David Weight, Michigan State University
    12:15-1:30  Lunch

    1:30-3:15Roundtable Discussion - The Practice of Fair Trade in the North

  • Linda Burnside, Alternative Grounds
  • Elain Pequegnant, 10,000 Villages
  • Tina Conlon, Oxfam Canada
  • Bill Barrett, Planet Bean
  • Terry Galan, McMaster University
  • 3:15-3:30    Break

    3:30-5:00Panel - Fair Trade, Social Movements, Public Policy and Development

  • Peter Vandergeest, Sociology, York University
  • Don Wells, Labour Studies,  McMaster University
  • Ian Thomson, Maquila Solidarity Network
  • 5:00-6:30   Entertainment, Reception
    This event co-sponsored by:  African Studies, Business & Society Program (BUSO), Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), Equiterre, Founders College, International Development Studies Program (IDS), International Secretariat for Human Development and Democratic Governance, Rural and Community Development Group (RCDG)

    * There is no fee for this workshop. Everyone is welcome to attend.


    "One Cup at a Time: Poverty Alleviation and Fair Trade in Latin America." Monograph prepared for the Ford Foundation by Laura Raynolds (with Douglas Murray and Peter Taylor), 2003.

    See also the links given here.

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

    The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean at York University

    Extraterritorial Citizenship:
    The campaign to extend voting rights to Mexicans abroad

    with visiting speaker
    Raúl Ross Pineda

    Raúl Ross Pineda was born in Pánuco, Veracruz, in 1956 and has resided in Chicago since 1986. He is a member of the
    Coalition for the Political Rights of Mexicans Abroad (Coalición por los Derechos Políticos de los Mexicanos en el Extranjero) and is Director of the magazine MX. His articles on Mexican migrants have been published in Mexico, the US, and Europe, and is the author of  "Los mexicanos y el voto sin fronteras" (Mexicans and Voting Across Borders), "Derechos políticos de los mexicanos en el extranjero" (The Political Rights of Mexicans Abroad) and  "IME - notas para una discusión" (IME [Institute for Mexicans Abroad] - Notes for Discussion).

    Monday, February 9, 2004
    9:30 - 11:00 am
    305 York Lanes
    York University

    Background readings:

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

    The Rural Community Development Group (RCDG) and the African Studies Program
    at York University present


    A seminar with
    Yemi Oke
    (Osgoode Hall Law School)

    Nigeria has domesticated the principle of sustainable development within its environmental regime, by incorporating its principles under specific laws, regulations, and policies at the federal, state, and local levels. The aim of domesticating the principle is to ensure effective and sustainable utilization of natural resources to eradicate poverty, achieve economic and social development.

    The question then is: "Is the application of the principle of sustainable development a sine qua non for economic growth and development in  Nigeria?"

    In answering the above question, the presenter will critically assess the effectiveness of Nigerian attempts to achieve sustainable development, focusing his analysis on the interplay of internal (e.g., governmental patterns, structures and policies) and external factors  (e.g., debt obligations and trade barriers).

    Monday, January 19, 2004
    2:00 – 3:30 PM
    390 York Lanes
    York University

    Yemi Oke is a graduate student at Osgoode Law School at York University. He holds a graduate degree from University of Ilorin, Nigeria, and has acquired an important research experience in his work as a practitioner in environmental law, with emphasis on sustainable development, biological diversity, inter/intra generational equity, and mineral and mining resources.

    More information:
    Miguel Gonzalez ( of RCDG at CERLAC, or
    P. L. Ehioze Idahosa (pidahosa@YORKU.CA) of the African Studies Program, Founders College.

    cerlac & the rcdg present
    a brown bag seminar

    Coffee, Crisis, & Fair Trade
    A View from the Guatemalan Highlands

    with Aileen Cowan (PhD candidate, Political Science, York)

    Aileen will present on her experience working with a rural NGO involved in fair trade coffee networks in Guatemala, focusing on the economic relationships between North American consumers and the Central America coffee producers.

    As well as providing a general overview of the history of coffee in  Guatemala and describing the rural community and the organization (CCDA - Comite Campesino del Altiplano) with whom she worked, Aileen will review the conditions that have led to the current world coffee market crisis and discuss its impact upon the rural indigenous peoples of Guatemala.

    The discussion will take into account the increasingly violent political context within which rural and human rights organizations work in Guatemala, and will critically assess the potential of fair trade as an alternative in the context of the global coffee crisis.

    November 26th, 2003
    2:00 - 3:30 pm

    Room 390 York Lanes
    York University

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

    The Transformative Learning Center- OISE, CERLAC, the Socialist Project, and Solidarity and Action Chile present

    A tribute to Salvador Allende

    Civil Democracy in Neoliberal Times

    with special guests

    Martin Zansana
    of the La Surda movement; Director of Sociedad Educacional para el Desarrollo Humano
    Rafael Agacino 
    of the Colectivo de Trabajadores 
    and Arcis University, Chile

    Moderator:  Carlos Torres
    of the Centre for Social Justice
    This event will consider civil democracy as a tool for liberation from neoliberalism, thirty years after a coup d’etat that halted Chile’s progress along a peaceful road to socialism. Prospects for defeating authoritarian neoliberalism will also be debated, exploring new tendencies for social and economic transformation.

    Friday, November 28 &
    Saturday, November 29, 2003

    252 Bloor Street W.

    Opening: Friday 28, 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm

    The struggle for workers’ rights and the need for a new workers’ movement
    Rafael Agacino, Colectivos de Trabajadores and Arcis University, Chile

    Neoliberalism as a Revolution in Government: The New Parameters of Social Action in Chile
    Verónica Schild, Western University

    New social and political agents in the struggle for democratic transformation
    Martin Zansana, La Surda (Left from the South) and Director of Sociedad Educacional para el Desarrollo Humano

    Workshops: Saturday 29, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

    1.- Private education,  municipal schools and social exclusion
    Luz Bascuñan and Carlos Torchia

    2.- Ruling Women in the Name of Women:  The Contradictions of Institutionalized Feminism in Neoliberal Times
    Verónica Schild and Evelyn Encalada

    3.- Workers Collectives; a workers tool for social transformation
    Rafael Agacino  (in Spanish with interpretation to English)

    4.- Social and political transformation under neoliberal order
    Martin Zansana (in Spanish with interpretation to English)

    Closing:  Saturday 29, 12:30 pm

    I am only the interpreter of your great yearnings for justice…Foreign capital, imperialism and reactionary forces created the conditions [we are facing today]. The march of history does not stop with crime or repression [inflicted upon us].  We will overcome this most difficult chapter.  It is possible they will crush us but the future will belong to the people, it will belong to the workers [as]... humanity marches on towards better living conditions. 

    Workers of my country: I have faith in Chile and its destiny; [we] will overcome this bitter, gray moment.  Always keep in mind, that sooner rather than later, the grand avenues through which the free man passes will open up, to build a better society.  Long live Chile!  Long live the people!  Long live the workers! 

    (Excerpts from Socialist President Salvador Allende’s last speech to his people, Sept 11, 1973)

    Thirty years ago in Chile (on September 11, 1973), a democratically elected government was toppled by a violent coup d’etat.  As the result of that tragic event, President Salvador Allende and thousands of men and women were killed,  the Chilean "path to socialism" was truncated, and the democratic system abolished for almost seventeen years.

    Following the coup, workers’ rights and civil liberties were curtailed, as union and political activists were detained, tortured, killed, or sent into exile.  All existing progressive legislation and freedom of expression was eradicated, and over time a deep “capitalist” revolution took place, transforming the character of the entire society.  Years later, instead of socialism and democracy, the country became characterized by an authoritarian and undemocratic system. Now, thirty years after the coup d’etat, it would be fallacious to say that the rule of law prevails in Chile.  The idea of socialism is barely discussed today in Chile, and democratic principles remain unfulfilled by the current government.

    In this context, and as tribute to Allende, we present two prominent organizers and thinkers of the emerging Chilean New Left: Martin Zansana, Director of Sociedad Educacional para el Desarrollo Humano and member of the La Surda movement; and Rafael Agacino of the Colectivo de Trabajadores.  They represent an important segment of the new leadership seeking to rebuild a new democratic and popular left in Chile.

    Background readings:

    Chile: September 11 - Thirty Years Later by Carlos Torres (Item 5)

    The other 9/11: Chile voices - Survivors' accounts of the terror that followed the 1973 coup in Chile.

    Chile: The Other, Almost Forgotten 9/11 by Saul Landau

    Remembering Chile's 9/11 by Paul Street 

    Chile's Wound, 30 Years Later, Is Still Inflamed by Larry Rohter

    Chile: 30 Years After the Coup, A Chance for Justice (Human Rights Watch)

    Chile: 30 Years Later, a Coup's Scars Have Been Masked By Larry Rohter

    Chile: Musicians Gather in Homage to Allende By Larry Rohter

    Chile: 30 years after coup, victims still await justice by Pascale Bonnefoy.  Sep 9, 2003

    More information:


    CERLAC Presents
    a brown bag seminar

    Human Rights Organizations & Argentine Society:
    Persuasion through Demonstrations & the Media

    Michelle Bonner
    PhD candidate, University of Toronto

    The presentation will assess how Argentine human rights organizations have responded to current debates in Argentine society.  In particular, the presentation will look at how human rights organizations have linked the civil rights abuses of the last dictatorship with the current socio-economic crisis.  The relative influence of demonstrations and the media will be explored.

    November 18, 2003
    2:00 – 3:30 pm
    305 York Lanes
    York University

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

    CERLAC presents

    Rural Markets, Revolutionary Souls, & Rebellious Women 
    in Cold War Guatemala

    a brown bag seminar with 

    Carlota McAllister
    CERLAC Post-Doctoral Fellow

    This talk will focus on an incident that took place in a Maya-K'iche' village in Guatemala in July 1979, in which local women rose up to defend their community's marketplace against incursions by soldiers seeking to forcibly recruit young indigenous men for military service. Carlota will show that Cold War interventions - designed to to secure Guatemala's rural hearts and minds against communism by modernizing and evangelizing Guatemala's rural area - paradoxically produced revolutionary mobilizations like this uprising by rearticulating longstanding rural relations of power.

    November 12, 2003
    12:30 - 2 pm
    305 York Lanes
    York University

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

    The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean
    Presents a Brown Bag Seminar



    Ph.D. candidate in Sociology, York University

    This presentation will be a sociological approach to the interaction between race, religion and revolution, and their significant confluence in Cuban life. The seminar is based on field research, archival documentation and grounded experience in Cuba. Main topics will include: The race-religion-revolution sociological connection in Cuba; The Caribbean Festival of Santiago de Cuba: Fiesta del Fuego; The Afro-Cuban religious and spiritual transcendence.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2003
    2:00 – 3:30 PM
    278A York Lanes
    York University

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

    CERLAC & the RCDG

    Trinidad and Tobago:
    Competition For Space and Turf

    Mahadeo Bissoon
    (Edinburgh and McGill University)

    The speaker will provide an analysis of the ground rules for the division and the settlement of the Trinidad and Tobago’s environment, which has led to an imbalance in land ownership. In the view of the presenter a land classification system would serve as a base for more judicious planning and use of the limited territory. The speaker will also discuss the factors relevant to poverty, social stability, food production, and environmental degradation in relationship to habitat, economy and society in Trinidad and Tobago.

    Wednesday, October 29
    2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
    305 York Lanes
    York University

    About the speaker:
    Mahadeo Bissoon is a graduate in Geography from Edinburgh and McGill University. He teaches in high school and university and also has works as a construction contractor, fruit farmer and trade analyst. Currently is the Director of the Equity Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago, which aims to assist NGO's to develop micro-projects among the poor.

    More information: Miguel Gonzalez and CERLAC


    A report on this event, including a complete transcript of the talk plus various periodical articles produced as a result of Mr. Stedile's visit, is now available for downloading.

    The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC, York University), The Transformative Learning Centre (OISE / University of Toronto), and The Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy (Ryerson University)
    proudly present

    a public lecture by

    of the MST (Landless Workers' Movement) of Brazil

    [The MST is] the most important and exciting popular movement in the world... With constructive local actions such as those of the MST, and international organization of the kind illustrated by the Via Campesina and the WSF [World Social Forum], with sympathy and solidarity and mutual aid, there is real hope for a decent future.

    - Noam Chomsky, in the World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, 2003
    Globalization and Social Movements:
    A Brazilian Perspective

    Former title: The MST and the Agrarian Question in Contemporary Brazil

    Monday, October 20, 2003
    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    O.I.S.E. Auditorium
    252 Bloor Street West, Toronto

    Readings by/about João Pedro Stedile & the MST:

    Landless Battalions: The Sem Terra Movement of Brazil. New Left Review 15, May-June 2002.

    The Poor Organize Themselves: An Interview with Joao Pedro Stedile Jornal do Brasil, August 10, 2003

    Now It Is Time: the MST and Grassroots Land Reform in Brazil FoodFirst Aug 2003

    Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement by Matthew Flynn April 2003

    Brazil's Anti-Globalization Squad  Brazzil People February 2003

    MST Meeting with Lula  August 06, 2003

    Rural workers in Brazil intensify fight for land Aug 2003.

    Entrevista con Stedile. La Jornada, agosto 2003.

    For Stedile, Now Brazil has the Chance to Defeat the Latifundio. Land Research Action Network, July 2003.

    Capitalism and the War
    Poratim, Jan/Feb 2003.

    The Poisonous Legacy of FHC. Folha de São Paulo, Feb 11, 2003

    Interview with Stedile, Dollars & Sense, May/June 2002.

    Peasant struggles and the MST in Brazil. Maxwell Teixeira de Paula, 2002.

    The Offensive of the Empire (on the 2001 WSF), Tierramérica, 2001.

    The World Bank Undermines Agrarian Reform in Brazil. ISLA, 1999.

    Various articles by Stedile (em portugese)

    ZNet articles on the MST

    João Pedro Stedile is considered a principal founder of the MST, one of Latin America’s largest and most dynamic social movements. He presently is the main political spokesperson for this organization and one of 25 members of its National Directorate.  A leading international figure in the anti-corporate globalization movement, Stedile is also an activist of the international Via Campesina movement and has been an organizer of the World Social Forum in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  He has published extensively on issues relating to agrarian reform, rural development, social justice, and globalization.

    The MST represents hundreds of thousands of rural workers in one of the most unequal countries in the world, one in which 3% of the population owns two-thirds of the arable land. While most of this land sits idle, 25 million peasants struggle to survive with temporary agricultural jobs. As a part of this struggle, their movement organizes land occupations and has settled thousands of peasant families on previously unproductive lands. The MST is also demanding that current Brazilian president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva of the Worker's Party (PT) follows through on his electoral promises of agrarian reform and that it reject the proposed Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). 

    This event is part of a rare public tour by Stedile to build international solidarity against the commonly shared perils of corporate-driven globalization.  Stedile will speak about the experiences of the MST with grassroots mobilization and international solidarity in the quest for social justice. He will also address the challenges of rural development in Brazil and the importance of his organization’s work in the current international context.

    More about the speaker:

    The son of small farmers, Stedile was born in Lagoa Vermelha (RS) on December 26, 1953. He graduated with a degree from Catholic Pontifical University (PUC) of Porto Alegre in the state of Rio Grande do Sul (RS), and with a graduate degree in Economics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). 

    Among various struggles, he acted as a member of the Regional Commission of Grape Producers, of the Syndicates of Rural Workers of Rio Grande do Sul, assisted the Pastoral Commission on Land in Rio Grande do Sul and, at the national level, worked in the Agriculture Department of the State Government of Rio Grande do Sul.  Since 1979, he has participated in the struggles for land reform in Rio Grande do Sul and in Brazil.

    Stedile is the author of various books: Assentamentos: Uma Resposta Econômica da Reforma Agrária , A Luta pela Terra no Brasil (published also in Italian – Senza Terra ), A Questão Agrária Hoje; 7th edition, Questão Agrária no Brasil , A Reforma Agrária e a Luta do MST , Brava Gente ;  the history of the MST and of the struggle for land in Brazil (also published in Spanish by the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo publishing house).

    He has been interviewed by practically all the national newspapers and magazines and has written countless essays and articles about the agrarian question, published in Brazil and abroad.
    Excerpted from an on-line article on Stedile.

    More on-line about Stedile & the MST: 
    Crunch time for Lula Sue Branford October 2003
    Brazil's land reform dilemma
    Living with Brazil's landless
    Brazillian Landless Movement Invades Monsanto for Third Time in a Year!
    Land-hungry in Brazil - Ana Maria Galano, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
    Reforma Agrária: Por um Brasil sem Latifúndios! Secretaria Nacional - MST
    Brazil: How to Kill a Landless Brazzil - Society - July 2003 
    High noon for Brazil's Lula and the landless 2003-08-04 (Reuters) By Andrew Hay
    The Fight for the Land and the Emerging Culture of the MST
    Brazil's land violence toll 'rises' BBC,18 April, 2003
    Large Landowners in Rio Grande do Sul Threaten to Assassinate Landless Movement (MST) Workers July 2003
    MST Calls for Federal Police to Investigate Massacre in Pará Sept 2003
    Paradox of Abundance, Need for Reform By Mario Osava Inter Press Service Aug, 2003
    To Inherit the Earth: The Landless Movement and the Struggle for a New Brazil

    Additional sponsors: 
    CAW International Department (CAW-Canada), The Centre for Social Justice, The Council of Canadians, The International Development Studies (IDS) programme at York University; Justicia 4 Migrant Workers, The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund, Science for Peace, United Steelworkers (Canada), Toronto Social Forum

    This event is part of a tour organized by The Canadian Association for the Study of International Development - CASID, and Development and Peace.

    Download the flyer for this event in PDF

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705


    Did you know that in Colombia…… every 20 min. someone is killed…… every 4 days a trade unionist is killed…… and from 1991 to 2002, 1,729 union workers were murdered.

    Did you know  that of all union leaders murdered around the world, 84% of the cases occur in Colombia…… and since 2000, the U.S. has spent $2.5 billion on military aid to this country……

    CERLAC and CRWS present A Panel Discussion



    Sandra Cordero 
    Representative of Sintratelefonos Union (at the Telecommunications Company in Bogotá, Colombia);
    Secretary of Press and Communication from Toronto

    Over Rico
    Representative of Sinaltrainal Food Workers Union, Colombia

    Ken Luckhardt
    National Representative, International Department, CAW-Canada

    Jasmin Hristov
    M.A. Candidate, Sociology, York; CERLAC Graduate Associate

    September 24th, 2003
    3:00 - 4:30 pm 
    (start time may change to 3:30 - check back)

    Nat Taylor Cinema
    (Ground Floor, North Ross) 
    York University

    This discussion will address: 

    * the current situation of the labour movement in Colombia; 
    * the relationship between Coca-Cola, the paramilitary, and a local union;
    * the solidarity work of CAW (Canadian Auto-Workers Union);
    * and ways in which Canadians can best support the Colombian labour movement.
    The war against organized labour in Colombia will be placed into the context of neoliberalism as a global system with connections to various forms of repression and authoritarian measures.  The film "Colombia: State of the Union" will  be screened as a part of this event.


    Background Reading

    Union repression in Colombia: Repression & Investment in Colombia: Canadian connection: Coca-Cola in Colombia & related boycott:

    Organized by CERLAC.
    Co-sponsored by CRWS (the Centre for Research on Work and Society at York University).

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

    CERLAC & the RCDG

    A Brown Bag Seminar

    The Landless Rural Workers Movement
    and the Construction of Another Brazil

    with Leandro Vergara
    PhD Candidate, Political Science (York)

    Fresh from the field, Leandro will present on the struggle of the MST (Landless Workers Movement) of Brazil, discussing its history, its ideology and social base. The presentation will also present the strategies of occupation of land to the creation of rural settlements, and the creation of cooperatives and schools.

    Tuesday, September 23
    1:00 - 3:30 p.m.

    278A York Lanes
    York University

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

    The Dept. of Political Science and CERLAC present

    Militarization and Resistance
    in Latin America


    with visiting speaker

    Américo Saldívar
    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

    The speaker will  provide an analysis of  militarization and resistance in various contemporaryLatin American contexts:  in Mexico, focusing on Chiapas and the indigenous movement; in Central America, focusing on Plan Puebla Panama; in Costa Rica, which has become the new location for the School of the Americas post-September 11, 2001;  and in Cuba, which has (again) become a potential military target of the U.S.

    September 22, 2003
    1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

    Founders Senior Common Room
    Room 305, Founders College
    York University

    Professor Saldívar, originally from Chile, teaches political economy at The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). His research focuses on globalization; poverty and natural resources; and linkage of sustainable development, water, biodiversity, and climate change to national security issues. He is a member of the 'La Red de Insumisos Latinoamericanos' (The Network of Rebellious Latinamericans), uniting over 500 progressive academics in Mexico and Latin America, and a board member of the esteemed Spanish journal 'Los Insumisos'.

     Américo Saldívar on-line:

  • NEOLIBERALISMO Y SOCIALISMO Evaluación de los costos ecológicos del agua: bases para un desarrollo sustentable en la Ciudad de México por Américo Saldívar
  • Article in La Jornada by Américo Saldívar: El "nuevo Pemex" o la falacia de la renta petrolera

  • For more information contact: Dennis Pilon <dpilon@YORKU.CA>

    The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean at York University (CERLAC)
    and the International Development Studies Programme (IDS) at York

    Managing an International Development Project
    -- a Nicaraguan model --

    with visiting speaker

    Amanda Procter is the Co-ordinator of the Casa Canadiense in Managua, Nicaragua. The Casa is a community development and popular education initiative with outreach activities in Managua and other locations in Nicaragua..  She is a graduate of the University of Toronto International Development Programme. Using the ten-year experience of the Casa, Procter will give an overview of today’s development and social challenges in the country, fourteen years since the defeat of the Sandinista revolution.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2003
    12:00 - 1:30 pm
    Room 305, York Lanes
    York University

    For more information please contact:
    Phil Stuart at 416 736 5237 or by email at

    The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) and Latin American Faculty of Social Science (FLACSO)-Dominican Republic present

    a two-day conference

    International Migration
    in the Americas:
    Emerging Issues

    September 19 - 20, 2003

    Master's Dining Hall
    Stong College (Room 101)
    York University

    Please confirm your intention to attend:

    See preliminary program, below.
    Visitor information (maps, transport, accommodation).

    This conference will bring together scholars (faculty and graduate students) from countries in the Caribbean basin (Central America and the Caribbean, Mexico and the United States) and Canada, as well as selected activists and members of NGOs,  to share findings and discuss policy and research agendas.

    The conference has four interrelated objectives: 1) fostering research on Latin American and Caribbean populations in Canada, a relatively understudied area; 2) highlighting connections between certain features of current globalisation on one hand, and migration and the possible creation of diasporic or transnational communities on the other; 3) identifying key policy implications of Canadian-LAC connections; and 4) contributing to setting an agenda for future research and policy-related work relevant to NGOs and relevant government ministries.


    A dramatic conceptual shift has taken place in the study of international migration.  While earlier work generally viewed the process as a unidirectional flow in which uprooted immigrants set down new roots in the "host" country and migration constituted a movement across well-defined international borders, newer work stresses the shifting and contested nature of boundaries and belonging.  In place of the old assumptions regarding the assimilation of migrants into a "receiving society," the revisionist approach presupposes a multiplicity of migrant networks and communities that span national boundaries.  Thus in newer work, migration is thought to produce "diasporas" and “transnational communities and social spaces,” populated by people whose movements and sense of belonging are neither final, unidirectional or unitary but rather multiple, cyclical and often circular.

    Moreover, public debate on immigration in Canada has become increasingly polarized, and as a result of ongoing economic dislocation and political upheaval, immigration from the Caribbean continues to be important, while Latin America migration to Canada has risen sharply since the mid-1980s.  Despite peace accords and post-war reconstruction efforts in two of Central America’s main “sending” countries, it is clear that migration from the region will continue.  South America is providing new “source” countries, compensating for the reduction--for now at least--from other countries in the hemisphere.

    These changes raise several conceptual, empirical, and policy questions that our conference will address. These issues point to a set of five themes around which we have organized the conference:

    1- Economic integration, development and migration (including remittances)
    2- Comparative Immigration Policy
    3- Human trafficking and sex trade
    4- Diasporas, citizenship and cultural identity
    5- Family and household issues related to migration


    Visitor information

    Toronto Map

    York Campus Location and Campus Map

    Public Transit Information (maps and schedules, fares)
    From downtown, take the Spadina-University line of the subway to its Northern-most stop: Downsview station, and from there take either bus 106 or 196 to its final stop on York University campus: in front of York Lanes (see campus map).

    Accommodation options:

    Downtown hotels
    (in the heart of the city; 40-50 minute commute to York by public transit)

    Delta Chelsea Hotel
    33 Gerrard St. W.
    * For a special conference discount rate, ask for Tony Brown in the Sales department and inform him that you will be taking part in the CERLAC conference on migration at York University.

    Quality Hotel Midtown Toronto
    280 Bloor St. W
    (416) 968-0010
    Reservation: 1-800-228-5151

    Hotels near York
    (5 minutes by taxi to the conference venue)

    Comfort Inn
    66 Norfinch Drive
    (416) 736-4700

    Holiday Inn
    30 Norfinch Drive
    (416) 665-3500

    International Migration in the Americas: Emerging Issues
    York University, September 19 - 20, 2003

    Preliminary Programme

    Friday, September 19


    9:00-11:00  Panel I:  Economic integration, development and migration

    11:00-11:15 Coffee Break

    11:15-1:15 Panel II: Immigration Policy: Impacts and Responses

    1:15-2:30 Lunch

    2:30-4:30 Panel III: Borders and trafficking

    Saturday, September 20

    9:00-11:00 Panel IV: Diasporas and cultural identity



    This conference was made possible by generous contributions from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and the Rockefeller Foundation. The organizers also gratefully acknowledge the support of York University; Stong and Founders Colleges at York; the office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation at York; and the Division of Social Science at York.

    Please confirm your intention to attend:

    More information:, 416-736-2100 ext. 88705

    CERLAC presents

    New Hope, 20 years after the Genocide...

    with visiting speaker
    Guillermo Chen Morales

    Wednesday, September 10, 2003
    11:30 am - 1:00 pm
    390 York Lanes
    York University

    Guillermo Chen Morales is Director of the New Hope for Rio Negro Rabinal Scholarship Foundation in Guatemala, an organization that creates educational opportunities for descendants of victims and survivors of the Guatemalan massacres. He is from Rabinal Baja Verapaz, Guatemala, a municipality that the UN truth commission stated lost approximately 20% of their population to state and paramilitary violence during the early 80's.  It is now 20 years after the genocide and people are still trying to rebuild.

    A Brief History...

     Rio Negro was the home community of several of the prominent human rights activists, including Jesus Tecu Osorio, who now reside in Pacux (a former ‘model village’ that was controlled by the military) on the outskirts of Rabinal. Rio Negro now lies under the water – in the flood plain created by the World Bank funded Chixoy Dam. Over four hundred community members of Rio Negro were killed to make room for this dam project. Survivors of this and other massacres were left in horrendous poverty and are still struggling twenty years later.

    Jesus Tecu Osorio is now 31 years old. On March 13, 1982, he was 11 when the second massacre of Rio Negro took his remaining family members. He lived as a slave of the man who killed his family until he was able to escape to his sister’s home. As she did not have the means to support him, he made his way to the plantations on the southern coast, where he worked under deplorable conditions. Jesus was a young man without the privilege of wealth or education, and with the burden of having watched his family being killed in front of him, he returned to Rabinal. Since that time, without government assistance and within a context of on-going death threats and structural barriers, Jesus and a handful of other massacre survivors in Rabinal began to create the infrastructure needed to help impoverished Maya-Achi massacre survivors lead a more dignified life.

    One of the pieces of this infrastructure for dignity and justice is the New Hope For Rio Negro, Rabinal Scholarship Foundation. The Foundation creates new hope for descendants of victims and survivors of the violence, allowing for access to education. The Foundation was created in 1996 by Jesus, after he received an award for his work in human rights.

    The Future...

    Guillermo Chen is the director of the Foundation. With his education and experience, he is able to help Jesus and the people of Rabinal to realize some of their goals. A significant part of his work is public education and fund-raising. This tour has both of these goals in mind.

    The Foundation is now in the process both of long-term planning, i.e. creating sustainable and culturally appropriate access to education, while continuing to offer the services that it can, in the forms of its scholarship programs and its new popular education program for future community leaders.

    This tour is a fantastic opportunity to hear a very personable, committed, and articulate person talk about the state of his community and the struggle for dignity and justice. It is also an opportunity to assist an organization which is providing education to young people who otherwise could never afford it. Please take the time to assist in the planning and implementation of this tour.

    All are welcome. Admission is free.