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Let's meetup, exchange views, and get more enlightened.

Some (but not all) topics to get the ball rolling during our inaugural meetup:

1.) The recent federal immigration reform proposal that is being proposed in the U.S. and how this will affect current and future Latin American immigrants.

2.) The death of Hugo Chavez and how this will affect the "Socialism for the 21st Century" movement that he proposed.

3.) Mexico's new president: who is he and what can we expect from him?

The group is fairly open-ended, so other topics related to Latin America are welcomed and encouraged.

 

 

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  • Novella

    The story of this trial is just incredible. The female judge and female assitant attorney general who convicted Montt were under constant death threats and had to wear bulletproof armour to court every day. And also Indian witnesses were under severe death threats. Molina, who feared being implicated, called off the trial at one point, but these 2 brave women perservered. For more information, watch "Democracy Now" on PBS. There are now rumors that Americans who were involved with the death squads can also be tried (according to US laws) as a result of Montt's conviction.
    Thank you for your interest.

    May 11, 2013

  • Novella

    Very true but let's not forget that Rios Montt (who was educated in the US and living here) was placed in power by Ronald Reagan and the CIA and it was American tactical units that trained and armed Montt's death squads. Although he was convicted for the genocide of 1,700 Mayan Highlanders, it is estimated that upwards of 250,000 Indians were killed in Guatemala over about 30 years. An excellent source is Allan Narin, an award-winning Canadian investigative journalist. He made a movie interviewing the deathsquads duing the atrocoties in 1982, in which they show off their American weapons and boast of their American military training. Major Quito who was the death sqauds commander taking orders from Montt in the 80's is President Molina of. Guatemala today. Peter Narin has just written a book about this dirty war, and it was his testimony during the trial that helped bring Montt to justice. Thank you for giving us this forum, Matt.

    May 11, 2013

  • Novella

    Here's just terrific news from Guatemala, in case anyone out there hasn't read about it. Amazing grace! We should bring along champagne for our first meet-up!!
    Novella
    ____________________
    Former Guatemala dictator Rios Montt found guilty of genocide
    By Mike McDonald GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was found guilty on Friday of genocide and crimes against humanity during the bloodiest phase of the country's 36-year civil war and was sentenced to 80 years in prison. Hundreds of people who were packed into the courtroom burst into applause, chanting, "Justice!" as he received a 50-year term for the genocide charge and an additional 30 years for crimes against humanity. It was the first time a former head of state had been found guilty of genocide in his or her own country. ...

    May 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you for sharing; it is definitely good news. If tyranny and crimes against humanity are not consequenced, monsters like Rio Montt have no incentive to behave themselves and do what they do. It's just unfortunate that it took this long for justice to find him.

      May 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      This civil war phase of Guatemala's history is quite sad. Given the 20th century history of the entire region, this conviction is amazing news! My daughter was born in Guatemala City during the years of this civil war. As she is a ladina who is mostly Maya, her life was in danger as long as the this government was in power. Now, sadly, the streets of Guatemala City are overrun by dangerous people carrying guns that they don't hesitate to use. It is still very unsafe, but for very different reasons.

      May 11, 2013

  • Novella

    By repeating it you only fan the flames of bigotry.
    Secondly, Americans are quite capable of critical thinking and forming intelligent opinions. We do know there is racial prejudice towards Mexicans, and we are quite capable of reading intelligent, credible, and even scholarly sources. Could you please focus on the issues and stop making ethnic gereralities? Thank you.

    May 5, 2013

  • Novella

    "The American press has, in some places, pointed out that international opinion is that President Nieto is not very bright. This is not an ethnic slur, but rather a comment on the individual."

    "This is not an ethnic slur...." Personally, I find your language disturbing, if not offensive,

    May 3, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      So sorry. this is in no way my opinion; I know very little about Mexico's president. I was quite explicit in saying that the American press is making this an issue (not me). My thinking is that these kinds of comments from the press can produce bigoted opinions among Americans, who do not have the opportunity to form their own opinion about an individual. I was trying to make clear just what the American press was pointing out: something about the current Mexican president and not about the Mexican people. It is the language of the press you find disturbing and offensive. Please don't shoot at the person who points out the focus of the American press. The American press and its depiction of Latin American governments are, in fact, part of what this meetup group is trying to understand, as far as I can tell.

      May 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    On Thursday, May 2, President Obama meets with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The American press has, in some places, pointed out that international opinion is that President Nieto is not very bright. This is not an ethnic slur, but rather a comment on the individual. But it will color many Americans' assumptions about the Mexican positions and goals for the meeting. What is your understanding of the goals of this meeting and the obstacles to accomplishing anything of substance? What I have read is that both leaders are actually backing away from efforts like drug traffic reduction. Has anyone read about this or other topics that are on the agenda?

    May 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey guys,

    I look forward to meeting you on May 19th. It will be exciting to get all your views and to exchange ideas. Bigotry towards Latin Americans seems like a very relevant topic (something I certainly would like to understand better), and I think something all "Americans" need to discuss more -- preferably with an open mind. Thank you, Patricia, for bringing it to our attention.

    May 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      So sorry I'll miss the face-to-face discussion. In another meetup group in which I participate, the conversations ramp up during the 10 days before the scheduled meeting. Perhaps there can be a bit of that online conversation in this group. I love Matt's reminders about being open-minded. I think this takes may forms, not just avoiding pigeon-holing people of other ethnicities. As Matt has indicated, I also want to understand diverse points of view about the broader subject of politics and culture relating to Latin America.

      May 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    @ Patricia: good discussion topic. (Seems to me that *is* part of the national debate, but I think I get your point. :)

    April 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Per #1: Is it appropriate to bring to the national debate the bigotry that equates Latin Americans with crop picking, gardening, construction and house cleaning jobs. Or will anyone feel the need to describe Latino/Hispanics in such a way that those in more training- or education-required job categories can have Latin American faces?

    April 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sundays at 4 PM are rarely workable for me. I may need to contribute in online discussions only.

    April 18, 2013

3 went

  • A former member
  • A former member

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