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Latin America, united more than ever against neoliberalism and the extreme right : Education International

The representatives of the trade unions of the education sector affiliated with Education International Latin America (EILA) met in Brazil on 3, 4 and 5 December to chart the course of the Latin American Educational Movement.

The 5th meeting of the Latin American Pedagogical Movement was opened in the afternoon of Tuesday, 3 December in the city of Curibita, Brazil. The participants were received by the Brazilian trade union CNTE and its general secretary, Fátima Silva, who is vice-president of the EILA.  


David Edwards, General Secretary of EI, greeted the 5th Meeting of the Latin American Pedagogical Movement on arrival in Curitiba and stated that he was delighted to participate in the event. He underscored the importance of the delegates from the region at a time that a political contribution was being made to the works of the EI World Congress in Bangkok last July, and reiterated the solidarity of the world organization in the struggles waged by its members in the region.  


Sonia Alesso, General Secretary of the Confederation of Education Workers of the Argentine Republic (CTERA), called for a fight against fascism and its allies, who claim that the region is sliding  back to the times of the dictatorships in the 1970s on the human rights front.  


Paulo Freire and the Latin American Pedagogical Movement  

The university professor and researcher José Batista spoke on the “The Thought of Paulo Freire and the situation in Latin America,” stressing the ties of the Latin American Pedagogical Movement with Freire’s ideas. He pointed out that education is a collective process which begins at birth and continues throughout life.  


Current context in Latin America  

The meeting afforded an opportunity for an exchange of analyses and strategies for action between the different participants, as well as for learning through the presentations by experts and academics.  

The current context in Latin America was the central theme in the presentations by the affiliates during the second day of the meeting.   


Between neoliberalism and the extreme right  

The eminent Argentinian reporter Telma Luzzani shared her analysis on the situation in Latin America based on three moments of domination of the subcontinent by United States: the origin of the Monroe Doctrine in the 19th century, the coups by the military governments in the second half of the 20th century, and the current offensive which is endeavouring to regain the control lost with the advent of popular democratic governments at the beginning of the 21st century.  


For his part, Luiz Dulci, minister in the Lula Da Silva government, spoke about the weakening of the power of the United States as a world hegemonic power and underscored the emergence of China as a leader on the economic front. He pointed out that the interests of the economic and political sectors of the right and extreme right in Latin American countries supported and served the interests of American imperialism. He analysed the current coup in Bolivia in the context of the electoral victory of the Frente de Todos [Front for Everyone] in Argentina, and characterized the current government of Brazil as being authoritarian with fascist traits, in the way that it pushes neoliberal reforms.  


The Pedagogical Movement  

Combertty Rodríguez, Senior Coordinator of the Regional Office of the EILA, went briefly over the most relevant elements in the panorama of educational policies in Latin America and pointed out that the Latin American Educational Movement is an organizational political strategy to defend public education as a social and human right, reaffirming the public nature thereof as a form of defence in the face of the terminological arguments put forth by the privatization interests.  


At the end of the day, Rodríguez denounced the death threats against the president of FOCODE, Nelson Alarcón, on yet another day of massive mobilizations in Colombia. Rodríguez informed the participants that the EILA had sent a note denouncing the threats and called on all organizations in Latin America to express their solidarity.  



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