Cafe Simpatico Jan 29: Chilean Constitution Update

Friday, January 29th at 7:30pm
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Meeting ID: 973 6846 2608

Chileans are currently preparing  to elect a Constitutional Convention of 155 members, expected to be a mixed of independents and political party representatives, that will write a new constitution from a blank page. The Constitutional Convention will have gender parity and reserved seats for representatives elected by indigenous nations.

The current constitution, imposed in 1980 during the military dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet, and fostered during the last 30 years of civilian governance, embedded a model of protected democracy coupled with a raw neoliberal economic model. This has produced one of the most unequal societies in the world, while wiping out 150 years of the Chilean social movement's achievements.

This presentation is about how Chileans have arrived at this extraordinary institutional moment in their history, paradoxically rooted in a deep mistrust of traditional political parties and public institutions, and what the majority of Chileans are hoping for in their new constitution.


Lorena Jara Díaz

Lorena is a Chilean-Canadian who arrived in British Columbia in the late 1970s. She became an organizer with the Canadian-Chilean solidarity movement for the defense of human rights in Chile, and later did the same for the El Salvador solidarity movement. In the early 1980s she joined the America Latina al Dia (ALAD) Collective which produced ALAD, the ongoing radio program at Vancouver Cooperative Radio, CFRO. She was an ALAD Collective's member for 13 years, working as a host and producer. She has contributed with public affairs articles about Latin America to Kinesis, Aquelarre, The Republic of East Vancouver, Contratpunto (online), among other alternative media. Lorena was involved in cooperative housing as the leading organizer, from initiation to finalization, of a project located in Vancouver's west side. She was a board member of Headlines Theatre and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Lorena was the Spanish-English transcriber, translator, and subtitles writer for Nettie Wilde's A Place Called Chiapas and for Mark Akbar's and Jennifer Abbott's The
Corporation. While attending Simon Fraser University, Lorena became a co-chair of her undergraduate and graduate programs' student associations. She was a recipient of the SFU Open Scholarship and  of the Roger W. Welch Award for services to the SFU community. She has a double major in Communication and Latin American Studies.


Because of sound problems, here are the links to the videos included during the presentation:

Video at the beginning: song El baile de los que sobran, Los Prisioneros (Chile Manifestaciones):

Video ending the presentation: La Primavera de Chile [song: El pueblo unido, Quilapayún- with subtitles]

Cafe Simpatico: jan 15 2021

Guatemala:  Human Rights Update with Carmen Miranda Barrios and Wendy Mendez 

Join us for this exciting event!

Wendy Mendez is a human rights defender, founder of the grassroots organization HIJOS Guatemala (sons and daughters of the disappeared), and petitioner before the Inter American Human RIghts Courts in the Military Diary Case.

Carmen Miranda-Barrios is from San Marcos, Guatemala.  Came to Canada in the early 90s and landed in Halifax, N. S. Made her way from east to west with the goal of finding other Guatemalan exiles who were living in Vancouver and joined the Women group "Nuestra Voz" and worked with Canadian and Guatemalan women to raise funds to send to women grassroots groups back home. She  is also a member of the BC CASA volunteer group that promotes and sells Café Justicia to support the Campesino Community of the Highlands  (CCDA) struggle for their right to land, health and the common good. Through the years, Carmen manage to go back to school and finished her doctoral degree at the University
of British Columbia with a speciality in Diaspora, Media and Exile. She has taught Spanish language courses at UBC, Douglas College and currently teaches a course on Global Indigenous Perspectives in Langara College. Carmen is also part of the bilingual radio show and alternative media collective that
produces   America Latina al Dia, on 100.5 fm every Saturday on Vancouver Cooperative Radio.

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Meeting ID: 972 8179 7888
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Guatemala:  Human Rights Update with Carmen Miranda Barrios and Wendy Mendez 

Cafe Simpatico:  January 15:  7:30 pm
Guatemala: Human Rights Update with Carmen Miranda Barrios and Wendy Mendez