Latin American Week (LAW) – Human Safety or State Security?

Latin American Solidarity Centre’s annual Latin American Week (LAW) focuses on a different theme each year and hosts a variety of events. In 2016, the focus was ‘Human safety or state security?’

Who are we

Rebeca Celamor, UNHCR – Central America; Diana Correa, Tecnologico de Monterrey; Caoimhe Butterly;  Kieran Clifford,  Amnesty International; Irish Refugee Council; around 200 people from Dublin and Galway; Latin American Solidarity Centre (LASC) members and volunteers.

What we did

Latin American Week (LAW) is all about linking Ireland and Latin America, and to learn from each other’s experiences, social movements and realities. In this case, in recent years in Ireland we have been hearing about the migration crisis across Europe, and it was important to reflect on the migration crisis from a global perspective and to see how it is affecting other areas, such as Central America.

Bringing two speakers from Latin America has been crucial to support people in Ireland understanding the issues and to be well informed in recent developments of the topic.

While the main event of LAW is the Dublin conference, every local event across Ireland are part of the bigger picture and they all raise awareness on the issues.

For example, the concert with a Guatemalan troubadour Fernando López was a festival highlight as is committed to social justice through his songs, which have been sung to celebrate the guilty veredict of Rios Montt.

How we did it

LASC identifies topic, speakers and partners; invites organisations and members to contribute to the events and bring new ideas.

LAW Dublin Conference – From left to right: Sinead McGrath, Caoimhe Butterly and Diana Correa. Photo: LASC 2016

Did we succeed

The festival succeeded in offering accessible opportunities for raising awareness among the general public on key issues from Latin American experiences and voices though speaking events and a Latin American films festival.

Bringing speakers from Latin America is costly and it requires a lot of logistics. Organising the events outside Dublin requires committed partners and a big push in terms of publicity and marketing. Ultimately  LASC maintains a consistent presence in Irish society by following up with participants, speakers and anyone interested in exploring issues and ideas from Latin America.