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As for the course itself, it is entitled ‘Latin America and human rights’ and it takes stock of the current status of human rights in an extraordinary continent. Latin America suffers high levels of poverty, extreme income disparities and high unemployment or under-employment. There are vast disparities in land ownership and the process of land concentration continues unabated resulting in growing numbers of landless. Yet there are powerful agents of change represented by the burgeoning demands for more accountable democracies, a number of regimes exploring alternatives to the traditional patterns of the past and popular movements led by the landless, indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, women and environmentalists, and a sense that we are looking at a continent turning over a new page in its history. I should stress my knowledge, competence and extraterrestrial insights of these unbelievable and diverse countries. I have, like other intrepid adventurers before me, had my scrapes, which include the distinction of finding myself blacklisted in Mexico, a fearful flight from the dictatorship in Chile and a chase by an armed and furious policeman in the town of Recife in Brazil. I was luckily able to escape the policeman and write a PhD in Brazil and spent a lot of time learning Samba, Frevo and Forro which is more fun than writing 600 pages which will only be read by three distant professors. Not that I want to discourage any student taking up higher research, getting a good grant and perfecting his or her skills in Samba. And if you want to hear about the policeman in Recife, you will just have to attend the course.

There are numerous ways of staying in touch with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Join our LinkedIn group, Institute of Commonwealth Studies Alumni Join our Facebook group: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Students and Alumni If you would like to contribute to the Summer 2013 edition of ICAN, please email Chloe Pieters: We look forward to hearing from you. 2

ICAN: Institute of Commonwealth Studies Alumni Newsletter  

The Spring 2013 issue of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Alumni Newsletter