2nd Latin American Policy Forum: “Facing the Future”

Latin America has many challenges in terms of security, democracy, financial inclusion and social development. To learn about the experience of countries like Dominican Republic, México, Colombia, Venezuela and El Salvador, Latin American Matters (LAM) has organized the 2nd Latin American Policy Forum: “Facing the Future”.

The conference will take place next May 8th, from 9 am to 5 pm, at the International House, and it will be open to the public (lunch and breakfast will be provided). RSVP here

This year the keynote speaker is Leonel Fernández, former President of Dominican Republic. Additionally, in order to enhance debate, the conference will be divided into panels that will focus the following specific policy areas: financial inclusion, democracy, security, and social development.

Unfortunately, one of the greatest stories of the region is violence. Mexico and Central America face ascending death-tolls propelled by the drug war, while Venezuela sees disturbingly high murder and kidnapping rates. The Security panel will debate about how different sectors can help combat violence and the role of government and the private sector. This panel will be composed of the following speakers: Antonio Arámbula, General Security Commission, Mexican Federal Government; Alberto Vollmer, founder of Alcatraz Project in Venezuela; Eduardo Guerrero, founder of Lantia Security Consulting in Mexico.

Clearly one of the greatest challenges facing the region is economic development. Latin America has seen levels of growth that have recently stagnated and it has had a hard time achieving the economic results that can help propel more people out of poverty. Experts of different countries will discuss these issues in the Social Development panel: Gonzalo Hernández, Coneval, Mexican Federal Government; Marian Vidaurri, Secretariat for Political Affairs, OAS; Mark Lópes, Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, USAID.

The Financial Inclusion panel will discuss current efforts to improve financial inclusion and alternatives to fix the lack of access to credit in Latin America. This panel will be composed of the following speakers: Xavier Faz, World Bank; Javier Gavito, GAIA Capital; Isabela Echeverry, Fundación Bavaria in Colombia; Andrés Blanco, Senior Specialist in Urban Development of IDB.

Finally, in the Democracy panel will participate: Patricia Maza-Pittsford, Consulate General from El Salvador; Cristopher Ballinas, Mexican Social Development Ministry; Julio Rank, National Endowment for Democracy; Ricardo Valencia, Advisor of the Ambassador of El Salvador.

What is LAM?

The 2nd Latin American Policy Forum is organized by Latin American Matters (LAM), a student organization at the Harris School of Public Policy, which aims to improve the position of the University of Chicago in Latin America, and to bring the policy debate from Latin American to our university community.

LPF facts

What? 2nd Latin American Policy Forum: “Facing the Future”

When? Thursday, May 8th, 2013 / 9.00am-5.00pm

Where? The International House. 1414 East 59th Street, Chicago.

Contact: Pedro Gerson– LAM President pgerson@uchicago.edu

More information at:




 RSVP here


8:15-8:45: Breakfast

8:45-9:00: Opening

9:00-10:25: Financial Inclusion panel

10:30-11:55: Security panel

12:05-1:45: Keynote speaker (Lunch)

2:00-3:25: Social Development panel

3:30-5:00: Democracy panel

5:00-5.30: Receptionposter_final_512014-01

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