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The workers’ economy:
Self-Management and the Distribution of Wealth


First international gathering to debate and discuss self-management (autogestión)

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, University of Buenos Aires

July 19-21, 2007

217 – 25 de Mayo Avenue

Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina



Please send a 250-word (max) abstract by May 15, 2007, or any other correspondence to:  



Ver la convocatoria en español aquí

Workers’ struggles have reemerged with force in the last decade in numerous forms—union-based grassroots struggles, self-managed workspaces, rural movements, unemployed workers’ movements…. These are all responses to the hegemony of neoliberal globalization imposing itself throughout the world with absolutist pretensions after the debacle of so-called “real socialism.”


At the same time, the old methods and strategies of struggle—class-based parties and traditional unions, amongst others—have by now shown themselves to be, at minimum, insufficient. Old debates and ideological frameworks are now in crisis. The dominant discourses used to describe the functioning of the capitalist world system can no longer explain quickly enough (never mind predict) the changes that have been occurring within this system over the past few decades. At the same time, popular struggles have had to create new paths without having a clear horizon in sight from which to map out a final destiny. And the plethora of means ever available for capitalism to respond to threats against it, as well as the sheer force and relentlessness of its repressive power, can in myriad ways overcome the popular sectors’ capacity for change…with tragic consequences for these sectors. 


Wavering between these situations and the theoretic-ideological debates that attempt to define them, thousands of workers throughout the world have been generating—through their actual practices—an alternative course for steering life between inaction and resignation on the one side and the fight for total political power on the other. Subjected to the permanent crisis provoked by neoliberal capitalism, a growing number of workers are playing an increasingly key role in the re-creation and self-management of greater portions of the means of production and the economy; this role is an immediate outcome of their struggles and resistances.


Thus, worker recovered factories, diverse kinds of self-managed microenterprises, rural cooperative settlements, new types of unionized workers’ movements, networks of fair trade and fair work, and numerous other kinds of self-managed organizations and forms of struggle are part of a new, emerging, and alternative social landscape. At core, these struggles are not only about managing production from below, however, they are also about the (re)distribution of wealth and the liberation of life itself from the clutches of global capital. Sometimes they take on autonomous forms. In certain situations they are fragmented. In other situations they form part of powerful and popular political movements, larger social movements, political parties, leftist fronts and coalitions, and even programs that are at times stimulated by the State or, more directly, by a government’s actual public polices. But regardless of the size and shape of these worker-contoured social-political expressions, there is no doubt that the alternative landscape they are creating is putting back on the table the question of the legitimate role of workers in the management of a society’s economy. 


From the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Buenos Aires and its Open Faculty Program (Programa Facultad Abierta) and the Interdisciplinary Program in Scientific and Technological Transference with Worker-Recovered Enterprises (Programa Interdisciplinario de Transferencia Científico Tecnológica con Empresas Recuperadas por sus Trabajadores), we invite workers, activists, academics, the labour movement, and any other interested individuals to this First International Gathering to engage in discussions centred on the socialization of the economy through self-management. We envision the gathering as a space to move beyond mere academic debate, however. The discussion, after all, is essentially a political one that should be moved forward with the participation of workers and their organizations as well.


Following are some of the discussion questions that will most likely frame this First International Gathering: What conclusions and lessons can we take from these experiences of self-management? What connections do these workers’ struggles have with more traditional social and political struggles? How do they relate to, or interconnect themselves within, the popular, grassroots-based governments that are increasingly taking hold of power in Latin America? How can these experiences of economic self-management survive within the hostile markets of global capital? How can they generate a new business logic of self-management within the framework of a suffocating system? Can they survive without change to the actual economic system and without transforming those very forms of organizations that they are attempting to overcome? Are they isolated instances of resistance, consequences of the very crisis of global capital, or do they show a path toward a new way of organizing production within a more just social system? Can workers already organized in unions once again come to pressure capital and dispute capital’s power-base, or should the struggle to overcome capital now be engaged from within the actual spaces of production and be about the actual self-management of production by workers? Will these struggles actually be used and appropriated by capital in order to more efficiently accumulate capital? 


From Buenos Aires, Argentina, then, the co-organizers convene this First International Gathering to debate and discuss self-management, its possibilities and challenges.


Conference format:

Debate Roundtables: Debate and discussion roundtables based on central themes, interspersed with panels to guide the discussion. A final synopsis of each roundtable will be realized and made available as conference proceedings. Opening and closing plenary sessions will be held.

The debates and discussions will be filmed and recorded for archival and educational purposes in order to make available materials and resources for research purposes, consulting purposes, and for assisting current and future self-management projects.


Thematic Roundtables: More specific roundtables and panels will be convened focusing on particular themes of interest to participants. 


Presentations: Presentations of documents and already completed or ongoing work for discussion.


Those who forward their work to the gathering’s organizers with enough lead-time will have their work published in a CD before the conference to be available at the conference. Please forward materials to include in the CD by April 30, 2007 to:


Preliminary conference schedule:

Thematic debates and project roundtables (first two days): 

  • The capitalist economy today: Stages of global capitalism from the perspective of popular movements. 

  • The self-managed economy: Discussions concerning the experiences of self-management in the era of global capitalism (recovered enterprises, rural cooperatives, self-managed and solidarity microenterprises, cooperative movements, alternative networks of exchange, fair trade and fair work initiatives, etc.)  

  • The challenges faced by popularly-based, grassroots-supported governments regarding the social management of the economy and the State.

  • A critical look at the cooperative movement. 

  • New challenges faced by union movements; unions; new types of workers’ organizations and collectives; co-management and participatory decision making. 

Plenary sessions (last day) 

  • The (re)distribution of wealth: The social economy or the socialization of the economy? Suggestions being offered by workers’ movements. 

  • The limits of self-management: The political possibilities and challenges of a production regime under workers’ control.  

  • Articulations, expressions, and experiences of the struggle for self-management with regard to other political struggles and other social movements. 

Special roundtables:

  • The environment and workers’ self-management. 

  • Experiments in self-management with regard to other social-political struggles and social movements. 

  • Work from the perspective of gender. 

  • The role of the university and intellectuals in workers’ struggles.   



The Open Faculty Program, Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, University of Buenos Aires.


Center for Global Justice, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (  

International Institute for Self-Management, Frankfurt, Germany (  

Argentina Autonomista Project (

Federation of Energy Workers of Argentina (FeTERA) (

Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), York University, Toronto, Canada (


Free admission, donations accepted: The gathering is free for participants and audience members. We invite donations for assisting the travel expenses of workers from outside of the Buenos Aires area. 

For U.S. tax-deductible donations, checks in U.S. dollars should be made payable to: Research Associates Foundation. Please write “Workers' Economy Conference” in the memo, and send it to: 9902 Crystal Court, Suite 107, BC-2323, Laredo, TX 78045. Donations can also be made on-line at Please again note Workers' Economy Conference.




The Graduate Caribbean Reading Group 



CERLAC, 240E York Lanes

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

5:00 pm


The group is meeting to discuss In the Castle of my Skin by George Lamming and Callaloo Nation by Aisha Khan.


Even if you have not read either text, it will be a chance for a general getting together of Caribbean Graduate Students. 


More information: Tanita,





From Haiti: 

Women's Rights and Trade Union Organizers Speak Out
Friday, May 25
7 pm at SteelWorkers Hall
25 Cecil Street


To be followed by social event for discussion and music at the Free Times Café


The Toronto Haiti Action Committee is proud to present Ginette Apollon and Euvonie Georges-Auguste for a one-night panel presentation on the conditions of life and work for Haitians and the challenges that trade union and women’s rights activists face in attempting to organize.


Ginette Apollon is the leader of the Women’s Commission of Haiti’s largest trade union, the Confédération des travailleurs haitiens (CTH) and Euvonie Georges-Auguste is a pioneering leader of Haiti’s women’s rights movement. 


The February 2004 Canadian – backed coup against the democratically elected government of Haiti resulted in huge setbacks for all social movements in Haiti, including the labour and women’s movements. Thousands of workers were fired as government and other services were disrupted or shut down, extreme violence was directed against supporters of the Aristide government and against the population in general, and hundreds of union and other activists were illegally imprisoned.  Women have been especially victimized in the climate of deep insecurity and rampant violence since the coup.  The dismissed workers have been forced into the already-crowded informal sector of the economy. Women’s rights groups had their businesses ransacked and destroyed and both the Haitian Police and the UN MINUSTAH forces conducted a systematic campaign of murder and rape in the poor neighbourhoods- with a British Medical Journal estimating that in just the Port-au-Prince area alone, over 35000 women and girls had been violently raped during the first 22 months under the coup regime. The increasing insecurity and the coup government’s decision to lower import tariffs has drastically declined economic activity in the informal sector where the majority of women earn their living.  At the same time, the minimum wage of approximately $2 U.S. dollars a day earned in the formal sector is barely enough for Haitian women to feed their families more than twice a week, making the reversal of the minimum wage by the coup government particularly malicious.


The CTH consistently maintained an anti- coup stance.  As a result, it also was targeted with the arrest and illegal detentions of its activists and death threats against its leaders.  Ginette Apollon faced ongoing persecution by the coup forces and was arrested by the Haitian National Police (HNP) after attending a 2005 Women’s Conference in Venezuela.  Despite the danger and repression, the CTH and the women’s rights activists have continued to organize and rebuild, contributing to some very courageous workers and social struggles in Haiti. 


Please join the Toronto Haiti Action Committee on Friday, May 25 to learn about the formidable work of these very remarkable women.


For more information on the tour please visit The tour will travel to 11 cities across Canada and will be in Toronto from May 25-28.


To help organize for the tour, or to donate or become a sponsor of the Haitian Women’s Rights and Trade Union Activist Speaking Tour, please write to or telephone 416-638-0821


Thank you to our local sponsors (at the time of posting): USW, OPIRG-Toronto, Venezuela We are With You Committee, Toronto and York Region Labour Council, The Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, OCAP, Toronto Women’s Bookstore, International Women’s League For Peace and Freedom (Toronto), Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean at York, Ryerson University Student Union, CUPE Ontario, CUPE Local 3907.  For full Canada-wide endorsements, please visit




Foro de medios salvadoreños


Las organizaciones SALVAIDE, PEN Canadá, el Centro de Estudios para América Latina y el Caribe (CERLAC), la Asociación de Periodistas de El Salvador (APES) y la Asociación Salvadoreño Canadiense (Asalca), te invitan al Foro:


“A 15 años de los acuerdos de paz en El Salvador:

Aporte de los medios de comunicación al proceso”


Actividad que se llevará a cabo el próximo sábado 19 de mayo de 2007, de 6:00 PM a 9:00 PM, en la Sala de Conferencias de la “Casa de los Amigos”, ubicada en el 60 de Lowther Avenue (Subway de St. George, salida de Bedford Rd., caminar dos bloques al norte sobre Bedford Rd).


Dicho foro contará con la presencia de los reconocidos periodistas salvadoreños:

Mauricio Funes, Director del programa “La Entrevista” que transmite Canal 33, 

Gabriel Trillos, Jefe de Redacción de La Prensa Grafica, y 

Serafín Valencia, Jefe de Redacción de Radio YSUCA y quien también funge como Presidente de la Asociación de Periodistas de El Salvador (APES). 

El Moderador del Foro será el abogado Juan Carranza, directivo de la organización Salvaide


La participación en esta actividad es gratis, y para obtener mayor información puede contactar al teléfono (416) 577-6426, o a través del sitio web www.ASALCA.CA



Contemporary Brazilian Foreign Policy: 
New and Old Paths

A seminar presentation by 
Professor Rafael Villa
Director of the International Research Nucleus at the University of São Paulo, Brazil

Wednesday, May 2, 2007
12:30 – 2 p.m.
Senate Chamber
9th floor, Ross Building

Light refreshments will be served

Professor Villa's area of specialization is Brazilian politics and international relations, and he will also be speaking in Halifax, London, and Calgary about Brazil's role in Latin America.  He is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of São Paulo. For more information, please see his website:


This seminar is sponsored by the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, the Faculty of Environmental Studies, the Department of Political Science, Glendon College, the office of the Associate Vice President for Research, and the Brazil Chair (an International Development Research Centre-funded visiting professorship set up by a coalition of five Canadian universities, including York, who periodically host short visits by outstanding scholars from Brazil).




CERLAC presents a


Book Launch




The Rama People. 

Struggling for Land and Culture



González, Miguel, Svein Jentoft, Diala López and Arja Koskinen, eds,

URACCAN (Nicaragua) and Tromso University (Norway), 2006.





Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

6:00 – 7:30 PM

OISE – University of Toronto

252 Bloor St. W.

Room 7-192




This newly released book is the first extensive publication that tells the story of the indigenous Rama people’s struggle for the rights to own their land and culture in the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. The book – a bilingual collection – provides valuable information about the Rama people’s situation and their continued resistance to colonization.

Join Panelists:
Miguel Gonzalez, co-editor

- Dolores Figueroa, PhD Candidate, York University and contributor to the publication

- Deborah Barndt, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

- Mark Hostetler, Sessional Adjunct Assistant Professor, Development Studies, Queen's University

This event made possible by:
The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), Casa Canadiense, the International Secretariat of Human Development and Democratic Governance (ISHDG) at York University, the University Consortium on the Global South (UCGS), and the Centre for Transformative Learning at OISE/UT





Autogestión in Argentina: 

Self-Management, Recovering Work, Recovering Life



Mario Alberto Barrios

General Secretary of the National Association of Self-Managed Workers of the Industrial Federation, Argentina Workers’ Central 


Moderator and discussant: Marcelo Vieta

PhD Student in Social and Political Thought, York University


Tuesday, April 17
Room 7-162, OISE/UT
252 Bloor St West


In Spanish, “autogestión” means to self-manage work cooperatively. More specifically, it is to “self-constitute” social and productive lives while minimizing the intrusive mediation of traditional bureaucracies, hierarchical organization, or the state. In Argentina, especially since the socio-economic crisis of 2001 and 2002, countless grassroots groups—the piqueteros, worker-recovered factories, microenterprises, human rights groups, environmental and rural groups—have been experimenting with and concretely practicing forms of autogestión that both contest the neoliberal enclosures of life and, at the same time, move beyond them.


Since December 2005, the Argentina Workers’ Central (CTA) has embarked on a project of organizing Argentine workers involved in self-managing their workspaces and jobs under the auspices of the National Association of Self-Managed Workers (ANTA). This was a response to the reality of the state and traditional unions turning their backs on the plight of the cooperatively employed, underemployed, and the unemployed. Initially made up of 83 organizations and over 800 members, ANTA lobbies for and assists self-managed workers in their struggle to secure pensions, fight for just work conditions, and access favourable loans, all the while attempting to give political voice to the voiceless via collective organizing.


In this presentation, Mario Alberto Barrios will discuss his work in the struggle for the rights of self-managed workers in Argentina. Involved in labour education and union leadership since 1986, Mario has been ANTA’s general secretary since its first days in late-2005. With Mario we ask three fundamental questions: How viable is self-management (autogestión) today? Can self-managed work relations lead to a better way of life? Can self-management work in Canada?


Seminar organized by Diálogo Argentina-Canada, CERLAC (York University), Transformative Learning Centre and Social Economy Centre (OISE/UT)


The travel of Mario Barrios is sponsored by CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University









Dr. Lewis R. Gordon

(Temple University)



A Philosophical Anthropology of

Slavery and Freedom



Thursday April 12th 2007

5:00 pm to 7:00pm (Reception to follow)

Nat Taylor Cinema (N102 Ross)



Dr. Gordon is the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy at Temple University as well as an ongoing visiting professor of Philosophy and Government at the University of the West Indies; he is the Director of Temple's Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought and he is currently the President of the Caribbean Philosophical Association. He works in the areas of Africana philosophy, Black existentialism, postcolonial thought and theories on race and racism. Gordon's publications include: Bad Faith and Anti Black Racism, Fanon and the Crisis of European Man, Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought, Fanon: A Critical Reader and An Introduction to Africana Philosophy (Forthcoming).



Sponsored by: York African Studies, York Latin American and Caribbean Studies, The Division of Humanities, The Division of Social Sciences, The Undergraduate Programme in Social and Political Thought, The Department of History, The Department of English, The Department of Political Science, University of Toronto African Studies (New College), and The Centre for Research on Latin American and Caribbean (CERLAC)






Caribbean Graduate Students' 

Network Meeting


Please join the Caribbean Graduate Students' Network for an informal meeting to get to know one another, exchange ideas and discuss any business that needs to be raised (papers, conferences, 

reading groups etc.).  Information will also be provided on CERLAC's Diploma Program in Latin American and Caribbean studies. 


All are welcome!


April 11, 2007

3:00 p.m.

Founders Senior Common Room

Room 305 Founders


For more information, please contact Tanita Muneshwar at





CERLAC Presents



An account of the tumultuous events of the week of January 4-11th, 2007 in Cochabamba, Bolivia


with visiting speaker

Eduardo Sousa

Council of Canadians


March 26, 2007

12:30-2:30 p.m.

305 York Lanes

Bolivia is in flux. With the election of the progressive Evo Morales as president of Bolivia, expectations have been tremendous that he will deliver the nation’s marginalized peoples out of poverty. Along with the Morales administration’s promises of equality and justice for the nation’s impoverished peoples, especially its indigenous population, has come great conflict, most recently between the nation’s social classes, as played out in the tragic sequence of events of the week of January 4th to 11th in Cochabamba, Bolivia.


This visual presentation will look at the tumultuous sequence of events that took place during that week. Eduardo Sousa spent 3 weeks in Cochabamba visiting his son and family. During this time he was witness to and part of the extraordinary series of events that sadly led to the loss of 3 lives and to over 200 being injured. The presentation will consider the roles the National Government of Evo Morales, the State Government of Manfred Reyes Villa and that of elites and social movements in the conflict.


Rather than bring clarity and resolution to what is taking place in Bolivia today, Eduardo hopes to present a more complicated and nuanced perspective, especially in light of the January events.


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


CERLAC Presents a Photo Exhibit


Nicaragua - A Fragile Hope


by Anneli Tolvanen


Graduate Lounge, York University

Ross Building S166

Showing until the end of June, 2007

Graduate Lounge Hours:

Monday to Wednesday 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Thursday 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.

Friday 9:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.


This is an exhibit of black and white photos taken between 1995 and 2004.

Two tragic and historic Octobers are documented: elections in October, 1996, that brought Arnoldo Alemán to power, later to be imprisoned for corruption; and October, 1998, when Hurricane Mitch struck the country. 


Other photos are of Nicaraguans in their daily lives who, despite the conditions of corruption, natural disasters, machismo, prejudice and economics of greed, sustain a fragile, yet powerful hope. 


This is Anneli's first photo exhibit.


For more information she can be reached at


A donation is requested to support a scholarship fund in Nicaragua.





Cuba & Latina America Today


A special information session with:

Basilio Gutiérrez


Fernando Duque

- representatives of ICAP -

(Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos, Cuban Institute for Friendship Between People)


  • End the U.S. blockade

  • Free the Cuban Five

  • 2007 Che Guevara Youth Brigade to Cuba


Wed. March 28


280 York Lanes


co-sponsored by: Young Communist League @ York (YCL); York University Club, Communist Party of Canada; Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC); Latin American and Caribbean Studies Programme (LACS); and the Free the Cuban Five Cultural Committee.


More information:



CERLAC Presents a Brown Bag Seminar




Indigenous Peoples' Right to Self-Determination in International Law and Fragmentation in International Law


Elena Cirkovic

Osgoode Hall Law School, PhD Candidate


One feature of contemporary public international law is the emergence of specialized and relatively autonomous legal sub-systems such as "human rights law", "trade law", or "corporate governance", each with their own principles and institutions. These specialized subsystems tend to develop and to function in certain tension with legislative and institutional activities occurring in their adjoining fields and of the general principles and practices of international law.  This results in a conflict between different rule-systems and institutional practices, which in turn poses a challenge to the overall unity of international law. In the literature this is referred to as "fragmentation" or "legal pluralism". 


My research explores the merits of these theoretical assessments by examining the consequences of those conflicts in the particular context of indigenous peoples’ rights. More specifically, my study is concerned with assessing the way in which general public international law shapes the legal claims made by indigenous peoples invoking a right to ‘self-determination’ under public international law.  Two questions guide my analysis. The first question is general: Whether, and if yes, how public international law can serve as a strategic tool for indigenous peoples to advance their claims to self-determination? The second question narrows in on the conflicts between indigenous claims to self-determination on the one hand and domestic and international public and private, interests in the use and control of land on the other. The thesis contains two case studies, Canada and Peru, as examples of much debated human rights activism by indigenous peoples in recent years.



Thursday March 22, 2007

3:00-5:00 p.m.

390 York Lanes


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


CERLAC Presents a Brown Bag Seminar


The Worker-Recovered 

Enterprises in Argentina:

Worker Self-Management and Hope within Socio-Economic Crisis


Marcelo Vieta 


PhD Candidate 

Department of Social and Political Thought 

York University


Over the past dozen years Argentina has witnessed myriad grassroots social justice groups struggle against the encroachment of neoliberal enclosures of everyday life. One of the most talked about groups engaged in these struggles has been the nascent yet tenacious movement of worker-recovered enterprises (movimiento de empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores, also know as ERTs). Emerging out of Argentina’s most recent socio-economic and -political turmoil, the ERT movement that began tentatively circa-1998 surged into tens of dozens of workspace occupations and recoveries by laid-off, soon-to-be laid-off, or underemployed workers. By mid-2006, the movement was still continuing to craft promising – and workable – alternatives for the everyday lives of thousands of Argentine workers.
Marcelo’s talk will highlight his ongoing in situ and background research that he has been conducting for his PhD work on the most recent experiences of workers’ control and self-management in Argentina. Specifically, the presentation aims to historically contextualize and explore some of the possibilities and challenges for social transformation hinted at by the Argentine ERTs. Grounded in the concept of autogestión (self-management or, more accurately, self-constitution), and informed by critiques of capitalist labour processes, the commodity form, and workers’ cooperatives, his talk will explore how, despite their ongoing challenges, Argentina’s ERTs offer both direct responses and viable alternatives that move beyond the country’s socio-economic crises and neoliberal enclosures that have afflicted its working classes in particular over the past 30 years.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

2:30-4:30 p.m.

280 York Lanes


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



Ethnicity, Violence and Exclusion in Colombia

The Struggles of Indigenous and Afro-Colombian Communities


A conference sponsored by Rights & Democracy (Montreal), the Latin American Human Rights Education and Research Network (RedLEIDH), and the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC, Toronto)


March 15-16, 2007



With a staggering 3 million internally displaced persons and more than 70,000 people killed or forcibly disappeared since the late 1980s, Colombia has been described by the United Nations as having the worst humanitarian crisis in the Americas. Citizen insecurity in Colombia is the result of many complex factors, in particular an internal armed conflict – in existence for over forty years – and a profound social conflict, characterized by deepening levels of poverty, growing inequalities, and deeply rooted economic, social and political exclusion. Colombia’s ethnic minorities, in particular its Indigenous and Afro-Colombian peoples, have suffered disproportionately from both conflicts to the point that, according to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples, some Indigenous peoples in that country are currently in danger of extinction.



This conference will bring together activists, academics and key representatives of Colombia’s Indigenous and Afro-Colombian peoples to examine the dramatic situation facing these threatened communities and their proposals for positive change.



Spanish-English translation will be provided.

Please register in advance for the Friday conference by sending an email to, indicating whether you will require Spanish-English translation.


Conference program

Biographies of panelists (pdf)

Visitor information

Thursday, March 15, 2007

OISE, room 2212, 252 Bloor St. W.

7pm - 9pm

(event co-sponsored by the Transformative Learning Centre, OISE, UofT)

more info

Friday, March 16, 2007

Stong College, Master's Dining Room, York University

9am - 6pm 

Thursday, March 15, 2007 – OISE, room 2212, 252 Bloor St. W.
(event co-sponsored by the Transformative Learning Centre (OISE, UofT)
7-9 PM Round table Colombia: Truth and justice in the search for peace CHAIR: Shin Imai (Osgoode/RedLEIDH) 

Martha Domicó (daughter of Kimy Pernia Domico)

Luis Evelis Andrade (President, National Indigenous Organization of Colombia, ONIC)

Jorge Rojas (Director, Consultancy on Human Rights and Displacement, CODHES)

Friday, March 16, 2007 – York University, Keele Campus, Stong College, Master's Dining Room


9:00 - 9:15 Welcome and Introduction    

Viviana Patroni (CERLAC, RedLEIDH) 

Razmik Panossian (Rights & Democracy)

Beverley Jacobs (President, Native Women's Association of Canada)

9:15 - 11:00 Panel 1 Political Violence, exclusion and ethnic minorities in Colombia CHAIR: Kathy Price (Amnesty International Canada)

Germán Burgos (Senior Associate with the Latin American Institute for Alternative Legal Services, ILSA)

Luís Evelis Andrade (President, National Indigenous Organization of Colombia, ONIC)

José Santos Caicedo Cabezas (Process of Black Communities of Colombia, PCN)

11:00 - 11:15 COFFEE
11:15 - 1PM Panel 2 Resource extraction and the struggle for community rights CHAIR: Nadia Faucher (InterPares)

Jorge Rojas (Director, Consultancy on Human Rights and Displacement, CODHES)

Guillermo Tascon (President, Indigenous Organization of Antioquia, OIA)

1 - 2:30PM LUNCH
2:30 – 4:15 Panel 3 Armed conflict, gender and Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities CHAIR: María Eugenia Cardenas (Rights & Democracy)

Amanda Romero (Expert on human rights in Colombia)

Blanca Cecilia Muñoz (Roundtable of the Kofán Committee Nation, Putumayo)

Marilyn Machado (Process of Black Communities of Colombia, PCN)

4:15 - 4:30 COFFEE
4:30 - 6:00 Closing session The role of the international community CHAIR: Jim Hodgson (United Church of Canada)

Santiago Canton (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, OAS)

Craig Benjamin (Amnesty International Canada)

Robin Buyers (Christian Peacemaker Teams, CPT)

Printable programs available here:

English program

Spanish program

Biographies of panelists

Visitor information


Directions and map of York University

Toronto 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 bus 196 to its final stop on York University campus (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.

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

Hotels at or near York

Executive Learning Centre
Schulich School of Business, York University
4700 Keele Street
(416) 650-8300

Comfort Inn
66 Norfinch Drive
(416) 736-4700

Holiday Inn
30 Norfinch Drive
(416) 665-3500





Truth and Justice in the Search for Peace



- Martha Domico -

Daughter of renowned Colombian Indigenous leader Kimy Pernia Domico


with other leaders of Colombia’s Indigenous and Afro-Colombian peoples and the country’s human rights movement, among them:


- Luis Evelis Andrade -

President of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia, and 

- Jorge Rojas -

Director of the Consultancy on Human Rights and Displacement (CODHES)


Thursday, March 15

7:00pm - 9:00pm

OISE, room 2212

252 Bloor St. W.


On June 2, 2001, Colombian Indigenous leader KIMY PERNIA DOMICO was forcibly “disappeared” by paramilitary forces in that country. His whereabouts remain unknown. Kimy visited Canada on two occasions between 1999 and 2001, risking his life to testify to Canadian parliamentarians about the devastation caused by a hydroelectric mega project, financed in part by Canada’s Export Development Corporation (now called Export Development Canada).

Kimy’s daughter, MARTHA DOMICO, will speak of recent developments in the case of her father’s forced disappearance, and of the prospects for truth, justice and respect for the rights of her people in a context of ongoing threats. 

She will be accompanied by other prominent Indigenous, Afro-Colombian and other human rights leaders from Colombia who will speak of the current situation in Colombia, the ongoing violations of human rights and the struggles for peace and justice in that country.





Rights & Democracy, Latin American Human Rights Education and Research Network (RedLEIDH), CERLAC and the Transformative Learning Centre (OISE,UT)



This event will be followed on Friday by an all-day conference at York University on:


Ethnicity, Violence and Exclusion in Colombia

The Struggles of Indigenous and Afro-Colombian Communities


For more information, please contact Bill Fairbairn at (416) 736-2100 ext. 20227 or






East Asian Studies, LACS, OPIRG York, YCAR, CERLAC and Pathfinder Books present:



The Story of Three Chinese-Cuban Generals 

in the Cuban Revolution


Armando Choy, Gustavo Chui and Moisés Sío Won - three young rebels of Chinese-Cuban ancestry - threw themselves into the 1956-58 Cuban revolution that brought down the Batista dictatorship.  They all became generals in Cuba's army, helped lead 375,000 Cuban volunteers in the fight to defeat South African apartheid's invasion of Angola, and play leadership roles in Cuba today.  Our History Is Still Being Written, published by Pathfinder Press, tells their story.


The three describe how Cuba's Spanish colonial rulers brought over 150,000 Chinese indentured labourers to work as virtual slaves in the sugar industry.  They tell the story of the thousands of Chinese-Cubans who participated in the war of independence against Spain and in the 1956-58 revolution.  They explain that it was only because of Cuba's socialist revolution that "discrimination--against blacks, against Chinese, against women, against the poor--was ended."  Along with millions of other Cubans the three have changed the course of history.




consul general of Cuba in Toronto


editor of Our History Is Still Being Written

president, Pathfinder Press

Wednesday, March 14


Reception at noon

Founders College Senior Common Room 335

York University



 More information: 416.736-2100 ext. 22348 or 416.537.5163,





CERLAC and York International present



Privatization, neoliberalism and access to water in Buenos Aires, Argentina


a brown bag seminar


Fernando Rouaux

(MES Candidate)

Tuesday, March 6

Room 280, York Lanes

2:30 - 4:30pm

(refreshments will be provided)

A wave of privatization during the Menem administration in the 90s in Argentina included virtually all services provided by the State, and water and sanitation were no exception. In the city of Buenos Aires, the French company Suez was responsible for the provision of these essential services, after acquiring the rights to administer the national company, Obras Sanitarias de la Nacion. After thirteen years of private service, the company's failure to comply with the goals laid out in the contract with respect to water quality, service provision, and levels of investment was clearly evident. The Kirchner administration re-nationalized the service in 2006, claiming that the health of the population was being put at risk.


This talk will address issues of access to drinking water and sewage systems in the city of Buenos Aires after a decade of privatized water service, and will examine people’s experiences with the water system in neighbourhoods surrounding the city centre.


Fernando Rouaux recently returned from five months of field work in Buenos Aires, where he worked as an intern at the Centre for Legal and Social Studies (CELS). Fernando's internship was supported by CIDA's Canada Corps University Partnership Program, IDRC's Latin American and Caribbean Exchange Grant, and CERLAC's Latin American Human Rights Research and Education Network (RedLEIDH).


More information:, 416.736.2100x88705




**Please note change of date below**
CERLAC Presents a Brown Bag Seminar
‘Miskitus & Sandinistas: 
old enemies, new friends’ – 
Elections and Autonomy on the 
Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua
Screening of "YATAMA: 
Its struggle for a real autonomy"
and panel discussion with:
Robert Sharp, 
FSLN political activist who was involved in grassroots organizing 
during the recent electoral process
Dolores Figueroa, 
PhD candidate in Sociology, 
York University
Miguel Gonzalez, 
PhD candidate in Political Science, 

      York University


During the 1980s Contra War the Miskitus, the largest indigenous group in Nicaragua, were often in military confrontation with the governing FSLN's forces. Why are they now proclaiming an unlikely alliance with their former enemies ‘for peace and autonomy’ in Nicaragua? 

With the FSLN (Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional) now returning to power in Nicaragua, new prospects for autonomy may emerge on the Caribbean Coast. The Miskitu, under its main political movement YATAMA (the Organization of Peoples of the Mother Earth, founded in 1987), have signed an alliance with the FSLN. This document suggests important transformations of the legal framework through which collective rights to indigenous peoples and afro–descendant communities were constitutionally recognized. 


What processes explain Miskitus’ political recovery, and current coalition with the FSLN? How will indigenous women’s demands for political participation cohere with YATAMA’s objectives? What are the implications of this alliance for autonomy?



  Tuesday, February 27, 2007

    12:30-2:30 p.m.

   280 York Lanes


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





CERLAC, Division of Humanities, International Development Studies (IDS),  Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) and the Political Science Department present 

The Division of Social Science Speakers Series:



Left and Right in the Americas: Mobilization and Reaction in Venezuela, Bolivia and Mexico



Fred Rosen


Probably best known for his long term as Editor-in-Chief, NACLA Report on the Americas,  over the past three decades Fred Rosen has pursued two careers, that of an academic economist and that of a working journalist. He received his PhD in economics from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in 1983, with a specialization in labor and urban economics, and has taught economics at Vassar College, the Central University of Venezuela (as a Fulbright Fellow) and Queens College, CUNY. and is  now completing an organizing and editing project for the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) on the political-economic relations among the countries of the Western Hemisphere entitled “Empire and Dissent in the Americas.”


As an independent reporter, Fred Rosen is a regular contributor to the Opinion section of the International Edition of the Miami Herald, to the web-based publication, Mexican Labor News and Analysis (MLNA), and to NACLA Report on the Americas, published by the North American Congress on Latin America. With a grant from the Ford Foundation, Rosen has also written  a series of articles on microfinance projects in Mexico and El Salvador for the International edition of the Miami Herald and for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

2:30-4:30 PM

Division of Social Science Lounge,

York University

Ross Building South, Room 752






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




CERLAC Presents a Brown Bag Seminar


Assessing Participatory Conservation and Development: Unequal Relations of Power, Competing Interests, and the Politics of the Local

Report back on Canada Corps –

University Partnership Program Internship




Kate Ervine

PhD Candidate 

Department of Political Science, York University 


Researcher at York’s International Secretariat 

for Human Development (ISHD)


The Mexico-Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MMBC), a project of the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank, serves as an example of converging international conservation and development agendas. Such agendas are driven in part by the contention that community participation and local level decision-making will guide project implementation in order to simultaneously achieve conservation and development ends. Nevertheless, as part of a wider mainstream shift to ‘participatory development’ practices , the MMBC exposes a number of the weaknesses and dangers inherent to pursuing this agenda uncritically, with little consideration given to existing unequal relations of power – locally, nationally, and internationally – and how they may affect project outcomes. 


In this Brown Bag Seminar Kate will discuss these themes based on the eight months she spent in Chiapas, Mexico, studying the implementation of the MMBC within a number of participating communities.

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

3:00 - 5:00 pm

280 York Lanes


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



CERLAC Presents a Brown Bag Seminar


Regulating ‘dangerous sexualities’ and ‘infected centers’:  


Medical practitioners and the containment of Afro Barbadian female erotic bodies in Post Slavery Barbados, 1868-1887




Denise Challenger 

PhD Candidate 

Department of History 

York University 



  Denise Challenger will present an excerpt from her dissertation, called, “Constructing the Colonial Moral Order: Discourses on Sexuality in Post Slavery Barbados, 1868-1887.”  


The passage of the Contagious Diseases Acts during the 1860s resulted in the increased surveillance, regulation and control of female bodies throughout the British colonies and Britain. The Contagious Diseases Act was first promulgated in 1864 in England and in 1868 in Barbados. The Act required the compulsory pelvic examination of any woman suspected to be a prostitute. Those found to be ‘infected’ with a venereal disease were subsequently detained and housed until cured in a state run institution, the Contagious Diseases Hospital.  


This paper will examine the interactions and power struggles between the hospital workers and the patients at the Barbados Contagious Diseases Hospital. Close attention will be paid to the ways that the doctors and nurses functioned simultaneously as physical healers and moral disciplinarians. 

An effort will be made to understand how local understandings of race, gender and sexuality shaped the operation of the Contagious Diseases Hospital in Barbados. The experiences of the Barbadian women will be located within the wider context of the experiences of women within the Atlantic world also subjected to the Act.




Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

York Lanes Room 280



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



CERLAC Presents a Brown Bag Seminar


Inside the Para=Narco=State: 

Understanding the Paramilitarization of Colombia



Jasmin Hristov

PhD Candidate, 

Department of Sociology

York University



For roughly 40 years, the Colombian state has been playing a double game: prohibiting the formation of paramilitary groups with one law and facilitating their existence with another; condemning their barbarities while assisting them in their operations; promising to bring these criminals to justice, while opening the door to perpetual impunity; convicting them of narco-trafficking, yet profiting from their drug deals.

This “schizophrenic” behaviour has culminated in the comical tragedy performed through its peace negotiations with the paramilitaries, which President Uribe declared to have successfully concluded with the demobilization of the AUC in February of 2006.

Jasmin will discuss the relationship between the paramilitarization of the Colombian state and economy on one hand, and the restructuring of the state’s coercive apparatus on the other, revealing what she argues to be the latest phase of a politico-economic model where violence persists as the most reliable tool for capital accumulation.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

3:00-5:00 p.m.

280 York Lanes


Jasmin Hristov (BA, B.Ed, MA) is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at York University. Her research areas include state-sanctioned violence, militarization, neoliberalism, and rural movements in Latin America. She has published in The Journal of Peasant Studies, Social Justice, Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, and Latin American Perspectives. The featured presentation is based on in-depth interviews with state officials from various institutions, social activists, forcibly displaced people, and paramilitary-linked entrepreneurs.


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


CERLAC Presents a Brown Bag Seminar

Argentina after the 2001 Rebellion: 

Social Movements and the New Political Paradigm



Gabriela Agatiello

MA Candidate 

Department of Political Science

York University



It has been over five years since the massive popular uprising in December 2001 that forced the resignation of president Fernando de la Rua and gave rise to a diverse number of popular organizations and a remarkable increase in the activism of unemployed worker groups. Since the crisis, President Nestor Kirchner (elected in 2003) has achieved some level of economic recovery and stabilization, and under the banner of ‘progressive government’ has managed to gain the support and backing of major trade union confederations, human rights organizations, and various organizations of the unemployed. 


But despite significant economic growth, his symbolic gestures and leftist rhetoric, unemployment continues to be a considerable problem and poverty and inequality rates remain very high. His social and economic program appears to be an attenuated version of neoliberalism mixed with traditional Peronist practices and other methods of control, including the cooptation of social movements and their initiatives, criminalization and repression of popular protest, and price controls.


Taking the events of December 2001 as a reference point, Gabriela will discuss some of the changes and continuities observed under the Kirchner regime, the relationship and political dynamic between the different popular organizations and the government, and the achievements and limitations of the popular movement.


Gabriela Agatiello is a Master’s student in political science. She spent several months in Argentina during 2005 and 2006 conducting research on poverty relief programs and the unemployed workers movement as part of her internship with the Center for Legal and Social Studies in Buenos Aires.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

12:30 - 2:30 pm

280 York Lanes 


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


CERLAC Presents a Brown Bag Seminar


Peacebuilding or Imperial State-building? 


Peacebuilding and Privatisation in Guatemala

(including Canada’s Role in the New Imperialism)


Michael Skinner

PhD Candidate

  Department of Political Science

  York University




Tuesday, January 16, 2007

12:30-2:30 p.m.

280 York Lanes


Beginning in 1997, as part of a postwar United Nations peacebuilding mission in Guatemala, the World Bank directed the privatisation of Guatemala's state enterprises in postal, telephone, electrical, and port services. These privatisations resulted in the destruction of a number of public sector unions, the murder of seventeen union leaders, as well as massive terminations of workers and social disruption. Canada played a prominent role in this process, including the crown corporation Canada Post, which took over management of the Guatemalan postal service. 


After researching the Guatemalan peacebuilding project, and conducting a research project specifically focused on Canada Post’s union-busting strategy, Skinner concludes that the two-track policy of democratisation and marketisation applied to peacebuilding in Guatemala is much more about rebuilding the state in a subordinate capitalist mould than it is about building peace by establishing human rights and democracy. 

Michael Skinner is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at York University and a Researcher at the York Centre for International and Security Studies (YCISS). He was an Education Facilitator with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, from 1996 to 2006. Skinner has a B.A. Specialist in Peace and Conflict Studies from the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Toronto.


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




CERLAC Presents:

A film screening and discussion:

The Curse of Copper: 

No Means No to Ascendant Copper in Ecuador



Liisa North

CERLAC Fellow  and 

Professor Emerita, York University


       Residents of the communities of Intag voice their opposition to Ascendant

       Copper in a two day protest stretching from Cotacachi to Quito July 12-13, 2006. 



Friends of the Earth-Canada and MiningWatch Canada have released the film “The Curse of Copper” as part of the “No Means No to Ascendant Copper in Ecuador” campaign, which focuses on informing investors and potential investors in Vancouver-based Ascendant Copper (listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange) of the true depth of community resistance and irregularities with respect to the company’s project in northwest Ecuador.


Liisa North, Professor Emerita, Department of Political Science, York University and CERLAC Fellow, who has visited the area affected by Ascendant’s activities, will introduce the film and answer questions following its screening. 


Thursday, January 11, 2007


York University

York Lanes 280


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



For more information on this conflict, please visit:

Friends of the Earth International, 

Defensa y Conservacion Ecologica de Intag (DECOIN),



The York/CERLAC Brazilian Studies Seminar presents:


Gender, Representation and Elections: The Female Presence in the Brazilian Senate




Professor Simone Bohn

Department of Political Science

York University



Professor Bohn will describe the key obstacles that Brazilian women encounter in their path towards full representation in the political arena, particularly the Senate. She will also contrast and look for similarities between (a) the feminist agenda that the women’s social movements promote and (b) the legislative proposals initiated by female Senators.  Is there any overlap between what the representatives do and the represented want? Come and find out!


November 29, 2006

12:30-2:30 p.m.

280 York Lanes



Professor Simone Bohn is currently working on a book manuscript, entitled “Party organizations at a crossroads. Argentina, Brazil, Chile & Uruguay in comparative perspective. Her research focuses on political parties, Latin American political development & Latin American political economy, methodology and research design in Political Science, electoral behavior, legislative politics & women and politics in Latin America.



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


CERLAC, York's Division of Humanities, Founders College, International Development Studies Program (IDS),  Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) Program and the Department of Political Science present:


What Next in Cuba?


a talk by John Kirk


John Kirk is Professor of Latin American History, Spanish language and Latin American Culture at Dalhousie University and Adjunct Professor in International Development Studies, Saint Mary’s University.


Professor Kirk has written or co-edited fourteen books on Latin America, mainly on Cuban culture and foreign policy, as well as Cuba's social model and political structure.  He is also the author of dozens of articles, most recently on the Cuban medical system and its relationship to inter-American relations with Cuba.


Kirk has accompanied the Premier of Nova Scotia to Cuba as his interpreter and counsellor for two week-long meetings with Fidel Castro and members of his cabinet.  He has also worked with CIDA and IDRC as well as with Canadian and European business representatives in Cuba and as a volunteer consultant with NGOs that have development projects in Cuba.

Senior Common Room
Founders College
Tuesday November 21 2006
2:30-4:30 PM


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



CERLAC Presents a Brown Bag Seminar


Haitian Migration in the Dominican Media:

Perspectives on Contemporary 

Dominican-Haitian Relations



Melisa Bretón

MA Candidate in Political Science


Summer 2006 York International Intern with the

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.




Thursday, November 23rd, 2006


York Lanes Room 280



Melisa will share some of the insights she gained as an intern at the IOM this past summer and will present findings from a media project she conducted examining coverage of the deportation, expulsion, and migration of Haitians to the Dominican Republic. This research also included interviews with some of the most prominent journalists in this field.


Melisa will provide an overview of Haitian migration to the Dominican Republic, its relation to Dominican-Haitian relations and how this IOM project illuminates the current relationship between these two countries.


Suggested readings on this topic:


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




CERLAC Presents:


The Oaxaca Crisis:

Progressive Perspectives on the Crisis of the State and Civil Disobedient Turmoil in Contemporary Mexico



Dr. Richard Roman 

Sociology Professor, University of Toronto

CERLAC Associate Fellow


Dr. Luisa Ortiz Pérez  

Nova-México City 



Rogelio Cuevas Fuentes 

Political Refugee from Oaxaca



Tuesday November 14th, 2006


York Lanes, Room 305 


The crisis in Oaxaca Mexico has intensified over the last two weeks. The popular uprising, which began with teachers' strikes has now extended into a wider revolt and open confrontation with the Mexican state.


This talk has three primary objectives: First, to educate Canadians by reporting on what is currently happening in Oaxaca; Second, to explain these events in their national and historical context; and Third, to provide some suggestions as to what Canadians can do in reaction to the current actions of the Mexican government against protesters in Oaxaca. After three presentations there will be a general discussion of theses short term events and long term trends.




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



CERLAC Presents:


The Securitization of Citizenship under Colombia's 

Democratic Security Policy



Dr. Christina Rojas

Associate Professor

School of International Affairs

Carleton University


Tuesday November 7th, 2006


280 York Lanes



Dr. Rojas will address two competing narratives of citizenship that are prevalent in Colombia.  The first, favored by President Alvaro Uribe in his "democratic security policy," is a narrative that privileges social authoritarianism as a mode of control. 


In contrast to this bleak vision, Dr. Rojas will also outline a second narrative of citizenship  in Colombia that is oriented towards social, economic and cultural forms of citizenship.  These proposals emerge out of the "progressive activism" of the Colombian Constitutional Court, Afro-Colombian and Indigenous movements, peace communities and left-oriented political parties.


Please join us for a wide-ranging discussion of these competing visions of the meaning of Colombian citizenship.


Cristina Rojas is an Associate Professor at the School of International Affairs, Carleton University. Her research interests include development, post-colonialism, Latin American politics, citizenship studies and global governance. She was a visiting scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.  


Her most recent publications are Elusive Peace. International, National and Local Dimensions of Conflict in Colombia, co-edited with Judy Meltzer (Palgrave/St. Martin Press) and Civilization and Violence. Regimes of Representation in Nineteenth Century Colombia (University of Minnesota Press). Her articles have been published in the Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Revista Venezolana de Economía y Ciencias Sociales, and the Review of International Political Economy. 


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




CERLAC, Canada-El Salvador Action Network (CELSAN), FMLN Toronto, and the Transformative Learning Centre at OISE/UT present:


The Struggle for Change: 

El Salvador in Crisis



Blanca Flor Bonilla

Member of the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly

Member of the FMLN


Thursday, October 19, 7:00 p.m.

OISE at University of Toronto, Room 4-422

252 Bloor Street West (at Bedford)


 Come hear Ms. Bonilla speak to some of the most pressing issues in El Salvador today, including the resurgence of death squads, state repression of  social movements, the economic crisis, and the possibilities for political change in El Salvador.


Ms. Bonilla has been deeply involved in the Salvadorean progressive social and political movement for nearly 40 years.  From 1968 to 1973, she was a student movement leader and has been a member of the FMLN since 1974.  She was first elected to the Salvadorean Legislative Assembly in 2000 and is currently a member of the following Legislative Commissions: International Relations, Central American Integration, and Salvadoreans Abroad; Family, Women, and Children; and Political Relations.  Ms. Bonilla holds an undergraduate degree in Social Work and graduate degrees in International Relations and Development.




CERLAC and the KAIROS Colombian Partners Tour present:


Voices of Victims: Their Proposals for Peace with Justice in Colombia


With Visiting Speakers:


Liliana Solano Ramirez

Human rights defender

Founder, Movement of Victims of Human Rights Abuses in Colombia 




a Youth Spokesperson and Member of the

Movement of Human Rights Abuses in Colombia


This event will provide an opportunity to hear testimonies on the human rights situation in Colombia and proposals for peace with justice from youth within a displaced community.


Thursday October 19, 2006

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

280 York Lanes



Lilia Solano Ramirez is a committed peace activist, human rights defender, an academic and a Mennonite.  Lilia is the director of Justicia y Vida (Justice and Life), a church-based human rights organization in Colombia with a mandate to contribute to the promotion and defense of human rights and international humanitarian law. 


The National Movement of Victims of State-Sponsored Crimes is a pan-Colombian movement of communities that have been victims of state-sponsored violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The Movement is made up of women's groups, indigenous, Afro-Colombian, rural and urban communities, labour organizations and their supporters, brought together to struggle for justice for their communities and to bring a halt to the near-total impunity for human rights violations in Colombia. KAIROS supports organizations which belong to the Movement, as well as the Movement itself.


The Movement has proposed eight strategies for truth, justice and comprehensive reparations for victims of human rights abuses that can be found in the final statement of the Third National Encounter, July 6-9, 2006. For details please see .


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



CERLAC, Common Frontiers-Canada, The Transformative Learning Centre-OISE-UofT, The Gindin Chair-Ryerson U., and The Toronto and York Region Labour Council present:

Out from Under: Shifting Forces in Latin America

“How can Canada connect to changes occurring in our hemisphere?”


While political winds have been blowing rightward in North America, the opposite has been happening in Latin America. On October 15 you will have the opportunity to hear directly from resource people from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela about changes happening in their countries and in the broader region.


The conference will include:    


◊ An Overview roundtable on the nature and significance of changes in Latin America

◊ Oil and gas in the Americas, implications for sovereignty, and how a public resource can best serve the public good 

Bolivia Rising: Stories from three Bolivian indigenous women reflecting on what this new moment in Bolivia’s history means for them

Also featuring performances by Turtle Gals and/or Heather Chetwynd and Marcelo Puente 

Sunday October 15th, 2006 

 USW Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto


No charge. Donations appreciated (free no-FTAA poster).
There will be catered-in Latino/Caribbean food that can be purchased for $15 on site.


For more information, please contact Rickard K. Arnold at 905-352-2430 or email .



CERLAC, OPIRG York and CUPE 3903 Present:



The Struggles of Bolivian Social Movements


With Visiting Speakers:


Lydia Robles Arteaga

Coordinator of Water and Textile Workers of Cochabamba/

Coordinadora del  Agua o Fabriles de Cochabamba.




Alberto Camacho

Union of Bolivian Postal Workers/

Sindicato de Trabajadores ECOBOL (Correos)


Important transformations are taking place in South America. In Bolivia, the election of Evo Morales, the coca leaf farmer and Indigenous leader of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), coupled with the rise of social movements are producing huge changes.  The prospect of further social, economic and political developments is generating great expectations in Bolivia and other countries of the region. Moreover, the recent nationalization of important sectors of the economy and redistribution of wealth and power place the people of Bolivia at odds with the goals of the U.S. in the region. This event will provide an opportunity to discuss these changes, initiate a dialogue, raise awareness and foster links between Canadian and Bolivian social movements.


Thursday, October 12th

12:30-2:30 pm

York Lanes Room 305


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



An invitation to all graduate students at York
interested in research on Latin American and the Caribbean


The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC)
invites you to


An Orientation Session for Graduate Students

October 5th, 2006
3:00 - 4:00 pm
CERLAC (240 York Lanes)


We encourage all students interested in CERLAC to join us for this informal gathering.  A general introduction to our activities, resources and major programs (including especially the Graduate Diploma Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies) will be presented.  Emphasis will be given to opportunities for graduate student involvement at CERLAC, and questions and suggestions will be very welcome. 


This event will be followed directly by a CERLAC social gathering, which represents an opportunity to meet with other members of the CERLAC community - as well as to eat, drink and be merry!


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



 CERLAC invites all to attend a


CERLAC Social Gathering


Please join us at our annual welcome event to start

off the school year and meet with new and old

 friends and colleagues.


All are welcome!

 Food, drink, and good company are guaranteed.


Thursday, October 5th, 2006
 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
 240 York Lanes, York University


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







The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) and the Latin American Human Rights Education and Research Network (RedLEIDH) proudly announce:

 The 2006 Michael Baptista Lecture

Featuring Argentinean Human Rights Leader 



Co-founder of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo – Linea Fundadora (Mothers of May Square)



Friday, September 22nd, 2006

7:00 p.m.

Keele Campus of York University

Computer Science and Engineering Building (CSE) Lecture Hall “C”


(A map of York's Keele Campus can be found here)


This year marks the 30th anniversary of Argentina’s 1976 military coup d’état. An estimated 30,000 people were forcibly “disappeared”, tortured and murdered during the seven-year dictatorship that followed. Shortly after her own son’s “disappearance” in April 1977, Nora joined a group of mothers seeking to discover the whereabouts of their children and organized the first of a series of weekly protest marches in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires.

Each Thursday afternoon since then, the Mothers have continued to march in the Plaza de Mayo, demanding that the fate of the victims be made known and that justice be served. The Madres de Plaza de Mayo have become an important political force in Argentina and an international symbol of courage and human rights activism.


The Michael Baptista Essay Prize and Lecture are named in honour of Michael Baptista in recognition of the areas central to his spirit and success: the importance of his Guyanese / Caribbean roots, his dedication to and outstanding achievement at the Royal Bank of Canada, and his continued and unqualified drive and love of learning.


For more information, please call 416-736-2100 ext. 88705, or email:


The RedLEIDH project is funded in part by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)



Further information and readings:


In English:

Speaking Truth to Power -

Argentina 30 Years after the Coup -

Argentina: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo -


In Spanish:

Madres de Plaza de Mayo Website:

Other Spanish sites:




 The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) and the Centre for Social Justice present:

Canadian Mining Abuses Overseas: The Pascua Lama Case in Northern Chile

Luis Faura

City Councilor of the Huasco Valley

Lucio Cuenca
Latin American Observatory of Environmental Conflicts



Luz Bascunan 


Wednesday, September 13th


489 College Street 

(2 Blocks West of College and Bathurst)

Rm 302


The lasting effects of neoliberal policies inherited from the Pinochet regime have eroded people's ability to reform the political context. Chilean organizations are trying to break through the limitations and restrictions imposed to defend their rights to better education, work, health, and environment. The road is long, but many have begun the journey and are fighting back.


The speakers will discuss the impacts of a mining project promoted by the Canadian Mining Company Barrick Gold in the region of Alto del Carmen in Northern Chile.

For more information:, 416-736-5237





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