Thursday, November 08, 2007

Latin America: “People’s Summit” to address inequality

The Santiago Times reports that Chilean officials have confirmed the attendance of Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, and Daniel Ortega at this week's Summit of Friendship and Integration of Latin American Peoples, also known as the People’s Summit.This news comes as Santiago prepares to host the leaders of 22 nations during Iberian-American leadership conference, which will coincide with the People’s summit.

During the announcement of the Summit agenda, supporters indicated the goal of the event is to counter-balance the discussion occurring during the Ibero-American meeting of world political leaders.

"To us, it is legitimate and democratic that during a conference where 22 heads of state will meet among themselves, citizen movements can also have a forum,” said Socialist Party Senator Alejandro Navarro. “This popular meeting will appropriately frame the Iberian-American summit because without citizen's voices, it would not be complete.

For that reason, we are very happy Santiago will host this people's conference which will foster a debate we consider essential.”

The “People's Summit” will run from November 7-10 and features a series of forums on topics as diverse as sexism and environmental justice. It is the fourth such summit to be held in Latin America. According to organizers, the goal of the parallel conference is to create dialogue about problems they say are rooted in neo-liberal economic models, while giving activists a forum to network.