|Asociación Latinoamericana de Enseñanza
e Investigación en Trabajo Social
Associação Latino-Americana de Ensino
e Pesquisa em Serviço Social
Statement about the priority issues for the Latin American Region
The Latin American Association of Education and Research of Social Work (ALAEITS, Spanish Acronym) agree that the following issues deserve priority attention by governments, institutions, and social work educators.
- The attacks against the democratic structures headed by companies with great economic interest in alliance with national bourgeoisies and neoliberal governments.The result is the consolidation of political systems unable to deependemocracy, social participation and wealth distribution. The more recent examples are the political coup in Brazil, the actions of Argentina’s new government, and theenrichment of powerful people who hide theirwealthas it was showed in the case known as “Panama Papers”. It is also illustratedby the impending imposition of a Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico that will prioritizebondholders’ interests and not the people’s needs, which is the most convincing proof of the colonial status of this country.
- The exploitation and appropriation of the natural resources, like water, in particular, by big companies and foreign interestswith the endorsement the current governments. Social movements that defendour countries’ heritage have been repressed,criminalizing the right to social protest, or murdering participants, as it was the case of Berta Cáceres, environmentalist in Honduras.
- The violation of human rights bymaintaining political prisoners in jail,as is the case of Oscar López, who has been in jail for 35 yearsin the United States of America for his political ideas about Puerto Rico’s sovereignty and independence.
- The accelerated process of de-professionalization of social work in the region as a result of the approval of neoliberal social policiesthat eliminate programs and social welfare services, and reduce social work positions by hiring individuals with lower levels of education and professional experience.
- The imposition of conservative ideas about understanding and addressing social issues, with the return of philanthropy, which result in detriment of the population’ quality oflife.
- The interference of market interestsin the spaces of social work guilds.
- The commercialization of social rights, especially the rights of education and health, and its effects in the reduction of services,as well as a decline in quality.
- The increase of social violence manifested in: the exclusion of women, discrimination towards minorities, murdersof young male related to mafia, organized crime, and local groups such as gangs, sexual traffic, human trade, small scale crimes, jail saturation, considering juvenile delinquents as criminal, among others.
- The migratory crisis that affects millions of peopleworldwide, and that it shows alarming expressions of criminalization. There are two main reasons: one, related to wars imposed by The United States of America and the European Union in order to control and exploit the energetic resources of the zone; and two, theexclusive economic models, in many cases colonial that were imposed in Africa and Latin America.
- We agree with the position of the International Federation of Social Work, Latin American Region and the Latin American and Caribbean Committee of Social Work (COLACATS in Spanish) with their strong stand on:
- NO to the setback of conquered rights
- NO to the loss of political and economic sovereignty
- NO to colonialism andintimidation of Countries’ self determination
- NO to the dismantling of National States
- NO to the attempts against the stability of democratic governments
- NO to censorship and restriction of freedom of speech
- NO to mass layoff and poor laborconditions
- No to the return of philanthropy in Social Policies
- No to the dismantling of Social Protection systems
- No to the payment of big bondholders
- No the installation of fear and murders as a way of discipline to our people
- No to the interference of the United States of America in our Continent
- No to the manipulation of the great mass social media
- No to the condemnation of millions of human beings to live in subhuman conditions
- No to institutional violence
- No to the repression of social protests
- No to the privatization of Education and Public Health
- No the Trans-Pacific Partnership for free trade
- No the stigmatization of popular sectors
Executive Board of ALAEITS
June 14, 2016
San Juan, Puerto Rico
 This document will be presented to the meeting of the Board of the Internacional Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) at Seoul, Korea, June24-30, 2016