On 5 and 6 February, the well-known Argentinean writer Adolfo Pérez-Esquivel and Beverly Keene, will reflect on the evolution and progress in the field of human and labour rights since the military dictatorships in much of Latin America ended thirty years ago, analysing how these developed under subsequent democratisation.
In 2017 alone, various events took place regarding the human rights struggle. In October, Santiago Maldonado, an activist’s body was found floating in the icy waters of a southern Argentinian river. He was believed to be missing since 1 August 2017, after an indigenous rights protest in Patagonia.
In December, before the World Trade Organization summit in Buenos Aires, British journalist Sally Burch, British NGOs, including Global Justice Now, Friends of the Earth and other international experts, were prohibited from attending the conference by the Argentinian government despite being accredited. On 12 December, Argentina Solidarity Campaign (ASC) supporters joined Global Justice Now and organised a protest with the battle cry “Defend Argentina’s Democracy!” outside the residence of the Argentinian ambassador in London.
On 18 and 19 December, a brutal state repression took place against the Pension Reform Law protests in Buenos Aires City. Police used extreme violence on the pensioners: people were indiscriminately and deliberately attacked, and journalists and activists were arbitrarily detained. The objection turned out to be a blood-soaked horror.
Because all of this and in order to tell the world the truth about what is going on in Latin American countries, Argentina Solidarity Campaign is organising a remarkable tour in the UK.
Together with the PeaceJam UK, ASC is hosting Adolfo Pérez-Esquivel and Beverly Keene’s UK speaking tour: “The struggle for human rights in Latin America today.”
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel is an internationally-renowned human rights campaigner and promoter of non-violence. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980 for his defence of human rights in his native Argentina and throughout Latin America. Beverly Keene is director of Jubileo Sur-Dialogo 2000, an NGO that campaigns against illegitimate external debts in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The organisers have planned a public meeting as follows:
- London public meeting: Monday 5 February 2018, 6–8 pm. Beveridge Hall, Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU. Hosted by the Institute of Latin American Studies and the Human Rights Consortium, School of Advanced Study, University of London. More information
- London: Tuesday 6 February 2018, Kensington Aldridge Academy for its schoolchildren.
- London meeting for trade unions and NGOs: Tuesday 6 February 2018, 12.30-2 pm. Trade Union Congress, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS. Open to all representatives of unions, solidarity campaigns, NGOs and civil society organisations but limited spaces. More information: Facebook and firstname.lastname@example.org
Oxford public meeting Tuesday 6 February 2018, 5 pm -7 pm. Taylor
Institution Library, St Giles’, University of Oxford OX1 3NA. Organised by the University of Oxford Subfaculty of Spanish and its Latin American Centre. More information: Facebook and email@example.com.
In their talks, Adolfo and Beverly will reflect on the evolution and progress in the field of human and labour rights since the military dictatorships in much of Latin America ended thirty years ago, analysing how these developed under subsequent democratization. Adolfo will also pose some of the urgent challenges being faced today as many of these gains are being rolled back in countries including Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, Paraguay, Colombia and Argentina.