Nashville – The Nashville Peace Coalition invites the public to attend a panel discussion on current issues affecting Latin America. The panel, titled, “Latin America Unchained” is an examination of the current left leaning shift of popular elections in Latin America. Whether Americans are pondering the meaning of Hugo Chavez shaking hands with Barack Obama or the recent electoral victory of the FMLN in El Salvador, we can be sure that Latin America is changing. In the interest of providing the public with an opportunity to hear from local experts on the current trends in Latin America, the Nashville Peace Coalition has assembled a diverse panel to talk about current events. The Nashville Peace Coalition is a project of the Nashville Peace and Justice Center and is dedicated to promoting a peace and diplomacy as key aspects of US foreign policy.
The Bolivarian revolution, the economic collapse of Argentina, the election of Lula in Brazil and the persistent anti-imperialist rhetoric from the Hugo Chavez administration of Venezuela are hints that Latin America has tended to the left in recent years. What is going on in Latin America and what role does US foreign policy play in this historical trend? What effect has the North American Free Trade Agreement, the US Army’s School of the Americas and Plan Columbia played in shaping and influencing Latin America’s current governments? “Latin America Unchained” intends to address some of these questions and engage in a community discussion with the help of a panel of journalists, educators and community organizers to have a community discussion about the recent trends in Latin America.
Chairing the panel will be Lesley Gill, Vanderbilt faculty and author of the book, “School of the Americas: Military Training and Political Violence.” Participants on the panel include Camilo Garcia who is an exiled Columbian journalist who works for the Spanish language newspaper “Latino” and Karl Meyer, a Nashville peace activist who has spent six months in federal prison for protesting the School of the Americas, a military training facility in Columbus, Georgia. Additionally the panel will include Joey King, a former army ranger and member of Veterans for Peace who recently returned from El Salvador as an election observer and Juan Canedo, a community organizer with the Progreso Community Center and a native of Bolivia.
The event, which is being held at the Progreso Community Center at 478 Allied Drive off of Nolensville Road in South Nashville, will begin at 2pm. Panelists will be given fifteen minutes each to address their area of specialty and then the lecture will be opened up to the general public for discussion and questions. The event will conclude at 4pm. Organizers of the panel hope to give the general public a better sense of what is happening in Latin America and what role US foreign and economic policy should play in current developments with our southern neighbors.