Globalization, Free Trade, and Indigenous Peoples in Latin America
2-5 pm Panel on Globalization and Indigenous Issues in Latin America, featuring:
Carlos Beas is a co-founder and currently director of UCIZONI, the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus. In its 15 years of work, UCIZONI has defended human rights, secured land tenure, strengthened sustainable agriculture and forestry, supported women's economic and social autonomy, and promoted the diverse indigenous cultures of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a region in Mexico's southern state of Oaxaca. UCIZONI is a multi-ethnic community organization of residents from 84 villages in the isthmus. UCIZONI's members represent six of the ten indigenous groups in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec: the Mixe, Zapotec, Mazatec, Chinantec, Zoque, and Mixtec native nations. UCIZONI is one of the oldest and largest indigenous organizations in Mexico. In 1996, it won the Roger Baldwin Liberty Medal, awarded by the New-York based Lawyers Committee for Human Rights.
Carlos Beas has an academic background in economics and 22 years' experience in training, organizing, and coordinating projects in indigenous communities. He sits on the governing boards of several national and international organizations that work on human rights, rural development, and ecological issues - including ACERCA, Action for Community and Ecology in the Regions of Central America. He currently serves as a consulting advisor for the Ecology Commission of the State Legislature of Oaxaca.
He has published several books, including a biography of celebrated anarchist leader Ricardo Flores Magón, a history of the uses of corn in Mexico, and, most recently, an overview of the "Trans-Isthmus Megaproject," a large-scale investment program planned for the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. His articles and opinion pieces have appeared in national publications, including the newspaper La Jornada. In 1992, he was a coordinating committee member for the continental movement "500 Years of Indigenous, Black, and Popular Resistance."
He is a well-known public speaker both inside and outside Mexico, and has been invited to give lectures and interviews with the media in Brazil, Columbia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States.
(Action for Community & Ecology in the Regions of Central America)
(Acción para La Comunidad y La Ecología en Las Regiones de Centroamericana)