The Global Hub – Latin America Conference 2016

Gertrude prefaces the Latin American Conference in Maynooth 2016 by discussing her own personal interest in Latin American justice since her postgraduate degree. Chris O’Connell then talks about LASC, or the Latin American Solidarity Center, which he chairs; this organization was founded in 1996 in conjunction with Maynooth College to promote social justice campaigns and host cross-cultural conferences regarding South America, like Chile, Cuba, and Nicaragua. Andy Pollock on the conference panel discusses his activist background and family that later inspired him to stand in solidarity with Chilean refugees in the later 1900s who were placed in Shannon. He goes on to detail his journalistic work in Mexico and Latin America; he covered the El Salvadorian Civil War. In 1979, he witnessed Sandinistas’ overthrowing of the Nicaragua dictator, one the highlights of his activist career. Lastly, Brendan Butler details his experiences in El Salvador and standing against the brutal regime there by means of raising awareness and contacting governments, non-profit groups to intervene. The Irish Franciscan Brothers and Sisters, he claimed, were instrumental in raising awareness about the dire situations of poverty and authoritarian regimes in Latin America. An example of their advocacy and campaigns includes the “Ring Around Reagan” in the 1980s – to show the public the enthusiasm of solidarity.