On Social Justice

By Robert Coles

This issue of DRCLAS NEWS focuses on the theme of social justice, a theme inextricably linked with our children and the future of Latin America. So often we who study the lives of children or work with them as, say, teachers or nurses or doctors, speak and write of their needs and problems, but fail to acknowledge their own capacity for, or interest in, doing the very same thing - taking stock of their situation, describing their troubles or worries, not to mention their hopes or aspirations. In 1985, for instance, when I was working in a Rio de...

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Violence in Latin America

By June Carolyn Erlick

Violence--like most diseases--is caused by a complex network of factors," said Rodrigo Guerrero, a medical doctor, researcher, and violence-prevention activist. "Our challenge is to understand as many of those factors as possible, plan some interventions to address them, try them out, and see what we learn." In short, Guerrero is trying to figure out the epidemiology of violence and then do something about it.

Developing such a strategy was one of the main themes of a two-day conference organized by the David Rockefeller Center in...

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Transnationalism and the Second Generation

By June Carolyn Erlick

Transnationalism and the Second Generation", a two-day conference April 3 and 4, examined the changing nature of immigration in the United States and increasingly interactive ties between this country and the country of origin. The conference,co-sponsored by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and theWeatherhead Center for International Affairs, was organized by Wellesley College Sociology Professor and WCFIA associate Peggy Levitt and Harvard Professor of Sociology Mary Waters.

"These strong, widespread ties turn...

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The Afropaedia

By Francisco Ortega

In 1909 W.E.B. Du Bois, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University (1896), proposed the ambitious scheme for an Encyclopedia Africana. For more than eighty years, this has remained a dream. Now, at last, two important developments have made it possible to turn Du Bois's dream into a reality. First, and most important, is the vast explosion of information about black culture that has occurred since the birth of Black Studies in the 1960s. Scholars are well on their way in the process of reassembling knowledge of the...

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Cuban Connections

By John H. Coatsworth

Since its founding in December 1994, DRCLAS has worked to facilitate academic and cultural exchanges with Cuba. Cuban scholars have visited the Center for periods as long as a semester. Harvard faculty and students have conducted research with Center support in Cuba.

In early March of this year, for example,DRCLAS director John Coatsworth traveled to Cuba with a Harvard delegation to attend a meeting of historians at the Cienfuegos Provincial Archive. The group, which included former Massachusetts Congressman Chester Atkins, also visited...

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Cuba Today

Miracle or Mirage

By Kathleen O'Neill

Miracle or Mirage? A conference co-sponsored by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the Inter-American Dialogue entitled "Cuba Today" explored this question in the context of recent events in Cuba. Debate centered on whether Cuba has experienced fundamental or merely cosmetic change, whether this change demands a policy response from the United States and, what form such a response should take. Panels on the Cuban economy and politics contested...

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Mujeres haciendo paz (Spanish version)

Una initiativa de sociedad civil

Por Martha Quintero, Rocío Pinedo, Rosa E. Salamanca, Martha E. Segura, Nancy Tapias, y Pilar Hernández

Colombia es un país con una historia de violencia política y social que se remonta aproximadamente 50 años atrás. En especial la insurgencia empieza un fuerte proceso de expansión a partir de 1979 en las diversas regiones del país. Estos hechos coinciden con la incapacidad creciente del Estado para garantizar el cumplimiento de sus obligaciones frente a sus ciudadanos, en todo el territorio nacional. El escenario...

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Women Waging Peace (English version)

A Civil Society Initiative

By Martha Quintero, Rocío Pinedo, Rosa E. Salamanca, Martha E. Segura, Nancy Tapias, and Pilar Hernández

Colombia's history of political and social violence goes back about 50 years, weakening its institutions and killing its children. Four percent of the Colombian population has died in the domestic armed conflict. Every day, it becomes more and more necessary to find a political solution—however, political negotiations have consistently failed since 1982.

The solution to this 50-year old problem of...

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La movilización de la sociedad civil Colombiana (Spanish version)

Los programas de desarollo y paz

Por Juliet Rincón

Cuando me pregunto que movió a aquellos que estábamos en empresas privadas, universidades, iglesias, cámaras de comercio, etc., es decir a la todavía no muy claramente definida Sociedad Civil Colombiana; a actuar a favor de las comunidades que en nuestras regiones están siendo azotadas por la violencia o por la marginación, necesariamente me remito a hechos como los que, en una publicación periódica denominada “Pertinentes”, Francisco de Roux (Director del Consorcio de Desarrollo y Paz del Magdalena...

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The Mobilization of Colombian Civil Society (English version)

Towards Peace and Development Program

By Juliet Rincón

As a member of the rather amorphous Colombian civil society, I sometimes ask myself what it is that has moved those of us who belong to private companies, universities, churches, chambers of commerce and other organizations to advocate on behalf of the communities in our region that are being plagued by violence or by poverty. I must turn to the brutal facts such as the Pertinentes publication that Father Francisco de Roux, director of the...

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Managing Peace

Private Sector and Peace Processes in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Colombia

By Angelika Rettberg 

In a recent interview, a Salvadoran businessman recalled what ex-combatants of the demobilized Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) told him when they met: “The worst mistake we made since [the government of president] Duarte was that we negotiated with politicians; we should have negotiated with the owners of this country, the business people.”

This assertion emphasizes the fundamental role business plays, and indeed...

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