2009 International Workshop

THE ROLE OF THE US IN LATIN AMERICA

Part of the year-long Focus on Latin America series, this Spring’s International Workshop sponsored by the program in International Economics and Cultural Affairs provided IECA majors the opportunity to reflect on the US’s role in Latin America, its responsibilities to its own citizens vs its obligations toward the promotion of democracy, economic stability and human rights in other parts of the world. On March 25th, students engaged in a role-playing simulation created by the US Institute for Peace, Colombia: The U.S. Response to the Changing Nature of International Conflict, in which they took on the role of officials in the US government executive and legislative branches, human rights organizations and journalists coming together to define an appropriate American response to the political, economic and human rights crisis in Colombia exacerbated by powerful guerrilla groups and drug cartels. The event was facilitated by Dr. Herbert “Tico” Braun, a native of Colombia and professor of History at the University of Virginia. Dr. Braun has written extensively on Colombia, his publications including such books as Our Guerrillas, Our Sidewalks: A Journey into the Violence of Colombia and The Assassination of Gaitan: Public Life and Urban Violence in Colombia.

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The CNN White House Correspondent (John) enjoying an interview with the House Appropriations Committee Chair (Tricia).
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The Vice President (AJ,left) and the President (Andrew, right) debate their options.
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Program Chair (Professor Ames, Facilitator (Dr. Braun) and CNN White House Correspondent (John) listening to the House Appropriations Committee Chair (Tricia), the Senate Armed forces Committee Chair (Robby) and the House Minority Leader, (Alyssa).
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The Secretary of Defense (Harry, left) and the Director of the CIA (Tony, right) debate the merits of US covert operations in Colombia.
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Members of NGOs strategize: how to get the US to focus on human rights issues in its policies? (Amber, Janel, Suzanna)
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Facilitator (Dr. Braun) listening to discussions among the Senate Majority Leader (Sarah),  House Majority Leader (Sam), the House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member (Kara) and the representative from Human Rights Watch (Suzanne).
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Facilitator listening to the Director of the CIA (Tony), the Vice President (AJ), the US Ambassador to the UN (Kelsey) and the Secretary of State (Sarah).