The first seminar was co-hosted by the UCD School of Sociology and presented by Professor Kieran Allen

“The room was small for the audience this afternoon at UCD School of Sociology,” said the committee member, Ruben Flores that hosted the opening of the Latin American Week 2022. After two years of online events because of the pandemic, LASC decided to run Latin American Week in September as a way to celebrate Latin American countries all at once. September holds the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Brazil was celebrated in a special event on September 7, with Shirley Krenak at the Teacher’s Club.

First Seminar: From Latin America to Ireland: What is Populism?

On 19 September, Dr. Kieran Allen opened this year’s Latin American Week with a talk entitled “From Latin America to Ireland: What is Populism?”. 

The talk provided an outline of the uses and abuses of the term “populism”, and highlighted some of the similarities between Ireland and Latin American as post-colonial societies. The event was jointly organised by LASC and the UCD School of Sociology.

Sociologist Kieran Allen’s authored over five books, including Tax Heaven Ireland (2021), 1916: Ireland’s Revolutionary Tradition (2016) and The Politics of James Connolly (2016). His research interests focus on contemporary Irish Society, Marxist theory, globalization, work and industry. His books include Fianna Fáil and Irish Labour, a study of the dominant political party of independent Ireland, in which Allen “attempts to analyze the relationship between Fianna Fáil and organized workers from a Marxist perspective.” 

Next event is co-hosted by UCC

Latin American Week 2022 continues in UCC, Maynooth University and Trinity College. The next meeting takes place on Tuesday, 20th September, at 2 pm, UCC. Co. Cork

Seminar: Indigenous Land Rights in Latin America

Speakers: Ricardo Rao (Brazil), Brenda Mondragon and Claudia Hernandez-Espinosa (Mexico) Julian Suarez (Colombia)

Where: Room 202 O’Rahilly Building, UCC

Ricardo Rao – Brazilian Environmental Activist

Julián Suárez – Colombian PhD Student in Environmental Law @ UCC

Brenda Mondragon & Claudia Hernandez-Espinosa– Mexican PG Students @ UCC on Zapatista Visit to Cork

Ricardo Henrique Rao is an indigenist, and former employee in the Brazilian National Indian Foundation or Fundação Nacional do Índio (FUNAI). He left Brazil at the end of 2019 after one of his colleagues Maxiel Pereira was murdered, and shot dead in Tabatinga – Javari Valley. Ricardo is one among many other activists, academics, and political leaders who left the country since Bolsonaro took office in 2018. In the occasion of his exile, the indigenist stated that he feared being the next to be murdered as he received many death threats. Before leaving Brazil, Ricardo handed a document to the human rights commission in the lower house of the Brazilian parliament. It is titled “Militia action connected to organized logging crime, drug trafficking and homicides committed against the indigenous peoples of Maranhão – A brief dossier.” The document gathers information and reports the involvement of police officers in organized crime in the region. From that moment forward, Ricardo has been dedicating his life to publicly denouncing the intensification of the for-profit enterprise of death, displacement, and destruction in the Brazilian Amazon as well as the responsibility of the government for the current situation.

Julián Suárez (Bucaramanga, 1984). Colombian public law attorney. Masters in Administrative Law from UNAL Bogotá and in Public Law from UCLouvain (Belgium). Between 2008 and 2015, he actively worked as a public law attorney. Some of his cases involved representing NGOs seeking to enforce IACJ sentences against the Colombian Government and advising the Bogota Public Water Company on cases involving special habitat protection. He has currently undertaken a PhD research project on the rights of nature under the supervision of Prof. Owen McIntyre at UCC.

His research is on the pertinence of the rights of nature as an alternative to current environmental protection within the context of climate change. The objective of this research revolving around the inner philosophical and legal contradictions rights of nature is to ascertain its effectiveness as an ecocentric environmental protection. To do so, it must verify whether the rights of nature are based on a largely anthropogenic “ecosystem approach”, why do they tend to respond to different social injustice claims about environmental human rights, and finally, whether “anthropomorphing” nature by making it a rights-holder with legal standing to enhance environmental protection, is definitely the most adequate step towards that goal. My research question hints at the rights of nature not giving any adequate protection to nature. The interests protecting rights as a category, which are mainly human, are not those that arise from the complex and dynamic interrelationships governing natural entities

Brenda Mondragon & Claudia Hernandez-Espinosa

In 2020 the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional  (EZLN), also known as the Zapatistas, announced their tour through Europe for the summer of 2021. The purpose of their visit was to have a dialogue with resistance groups across Europe, to listen and hear other stories of struggle, and to share their vision of the world with us. They came to share their story and how they have accomplished Autonomy with Justice and Dignity. In late September 2021, we found out they were coming to Ireland. Along with different organisations, we planned the logistics for their visit for them to engage with diverse groups living in Rebel County. Many activities were organised, one of which we facilitated and which we will discuss. In this activity, we created a textile piece that is hoped will be displayed as a memento of their visit. The piece in question is a snail made by members of the Cork Migrant Centre, The Traveller Visibility Group, Educate Together Secondary School, Extinction Rebellion, Cork Community Art Link and the Mexican Community with the Zapatistas. This textile piece’s purpose was to share our different struggles, experiences and perspectives on education, environmental issues, racism, motherhood, and many other topics among these groups. On this occasion, we want to exhibit the textile piece created collectively by many different organisations.

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