Violent Cities: Mayors' Perspectives
On April 29, 2011, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies hosted Sergio Fajardo, the mayor of Medellin, Colombia from 2003-2007, and Jose Reyes Ferriz, the mayor of Juarez City, Mexico from 2007-2010, for keynote addresses at "Violent Cities: Challenges of Democracy, Development, and Governance in the Urban Global South." Joining scholars and practitioners from around the world, they shared their unique perspectives on the challenges of governing two of Latin America's most violent cities and highlighted related enforcement issues and social solutions. Please visit the link to the Watson Institute for International Studies' coverage of this event..
Watch other conference guest speakers by clicking on the links below:
Haiti Lecture Series
The Fall 2009 Haiti Lecture Series further enhanced the Brown community's interest in Haiti by providing access to outstanding individuals who are involved in relevant, groundbreaking work in the non-academic world. The lectures, along with other events, complemented Brown's new Haitian Creole language program and the emerging emphasis on the Francophone Caribbean. The Series worked to create a tapestry of pertinent information on Haiti to spark greater interest in understanding the country not as a poor nation, but as a complex one that requires a new gaze, a new approach to deciphering its needs, purposes, and cultural wealth. By addressing Haiti as a society in crisis while gazing through a multi-focal lens, participants were able to grasp the root causes of Haiti's problems and interlink the past with current issues. Discussion topics included:
- "A Society in Crisis: Environment, Drugs, and Corruption" with Nancy Roc, Haiti's award-winning journalist.
- "Vodoun, Culture and Healing": a three- part presentation including:
- A representation of an actual altar with Manbo Marie Maude Evans leading a prayer/ritual.
- Dance performance replicating a Vodoun ceremony with master dancer Jean Appolon and his group.
- Roundtable Discussion on Vodoun, the Arts and Healing practices.
- "The Haitian Revolution and the Colonial World" which includes:
- A showing of the PBS Documentary "Equality for All" and
- A discussion with the director Noland Walker and Brown University Professor Tony Bogues
Violence in Mexico: Beyond Sensationalism
On October 23, 2009, CLACS, in conjunction with the Greater Mexico Project, hosted a one-day conference on violence in Mexico. The conference brought together leading scholars of violence in Mexico from a variety of acameic disciplines--including history, anthropology, political science, and sociology--and involved Brown faculty and students in all aspects of the event.
In recent years Mexico has been experiencing an upsurge in violence of various kinds. The increasing brutality of homicicdes realted to drug trafficking which in 2008 claimed more than 5,000 lives, the systematic killing of more than 400 women in Ciudad Juarez since 1993, and the extrajudicial killing of social leaders constitute only some of the most visible manifestations of this worrisome trend. This escalation of violence is shaped by broad social, political, and economic inequalities, and at the same time, undermines the ability of the government to provide secturity and basic democratic goods, hindering opportunities for development and reinforcing dynamics of social exclusion and fragmentation.
In this context, it is necessary to analyze violence beyond the vagaries of media coverage, addressing crucial questions such as: What is the extent of the current violence? What structural and immediate factors are central to explain and understand it? How can the Mexican state, the U.S. government, and civil society foster effective responses and solutions to understand its multiple manifestations?