Why you should support Argentina Solidarity Campaign
The Argentina Solidarity Campaign is a UK-based collective formed in 2016 by Argentinians, British and people from other countries, which supports social movement, labour and human rights struggles in Argentina. We have already organised various events and protests, including in support of feminist struggles in Argentina, against the repression of Mapuche communities in Patagonia and building international connections between British and Argentinian labour activists.
Visit of Nora Cortiñas and Beverly Keene
Nora Cortiñas is co-founder of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, the inspirational women’s movement that resisted the brutal military dictatorship (1976-1983) having lost sons and daughters to its violent repression. Her son, Carlos Gustavo, was disappeared by the military junta in Argentina on 15 April 1977. She has since dedicated her life to campaigning for human rights causes, most notably to bring the perpetrators of the kidnappings, torture and disappearances of 30,000 Argentinians to justice. She teaches at the Social Science Faculty of the University of Buenos Aires and holds three Honorary Doctorates.
Beverly Keene is the Director of Jubileo Sur-Dialogo 2000, an NGO that campaigns to against illegitimate external debts in less powerful countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. She and Nora both campaign on illegitimate debt, trade, economic justice and improvements in human and labour rights both in Argentina and across Latin America.
Given the forced disappearance of Santiago Maldonado, kidnapped by the National Gendarmerie while supporting the Pu Lof Mapuche community in Patagonia, the timing for this visit could not be more important. Nora would incorporate her own experiences of campaigning for justice for “the disappeared” since 1977 and offer her reflections on the human and labour rights scenario in Argentina and Latin America today in light of the return of right-wing governments.
The discussions will also cover further human and labour rights issues, debt and trade in Latin America, and other global issues, especially with eyes on the fact that Buenos Aires will host a WTO leaders’ summit in December 2017 and the G20 Summit next year.
Funds will pay for the travel from Argentina, accommodation in London for Nora and Beverly to present talks to trade unions, human rights activists, academics and students, NGOs and social movements, and other expense including food and internal travel during their stay from 31 October to 4 November. We have so far raised about £2,300 from War on Want, UNITE, Jubilee Debt Campaign, the Human Rights Consortium, University of London, the Columban Missionaries Britain and the RMT, but need another £1,500 by the beginning of October in order to cover these costs.
In the unlikely event that the trip gets cancelled for any reason, funds will be used towards the Argentina Solidarity Campaign's future activities unless you write to us requesting a refund.
Why this visit must happen now
Sadly, many of the Mothers are into their 80s and 90s and in ill-health and so are unable to travel from Argentina to deliver such talks. Luckily although 87 years-old herself, Nora is healthy and active. But the reality is that this may be the last opportunity to receive one of the Mothers in the UK. It is important for Argentinians and other Latin Americans in the UK, for labour rights campaigners, and for everyone else around the country interested in human rights in Latin America, who haven’t had the opportunity to hear a Mother speak live, to have this chance.
With the disappearance of Santiago Maldonado in Chubut on 1 August by the National Gendarmerie, it is vital that international attention is shone on a worrying increase in state repression and a return to repressive tactics used by the military during the dictatorship.
Argentina will also host the WTO leaders’ summit in December 2017 and the G20 Summit next year so in the run up to these events for which unions, social movements, NGOs and grassroots organisations across the globe will be mobilising for, it is important that students and other academics who specialise in Latin America hear from experienced and internationally renowned campaigner voices from that country.
Nora is widely revered among the global human rights community. Her faction of The Mothers, the “Linea Fundadora” has remained politically independent which has allowed her to maintain neutrality and she is highly respected across the political spectrum.
If you would like to support this event, we ask that people please donate what they are able. You can also get involved in the Campaign by attending our monthly assemblies and help to organise further activities.
15 Aug 2017
Updates from Argentina Solidarity Campaign
As this fundraising campaign proceeds, you’ll see updates appearing here.