LN and FDCL: nuestra historia
The joint history of the monthly journal Lateinamerika Nachrichten (LN) and of the Center for Research and Documentation Chile-Latin America (FDCL) began in 1973. The political project of the governing coalition Unidad Popular in Chile was observed with interest in Germany and worldwide. The first democratically elected socialist government of Salvador Allende and its bloody ending by the military coup on September 11th of 1973 led to the emergence of a broad solidarity movement. The LN-journal came into being during the summer of 1973, a few weeks before the Pinochet coup. The journal’s initial name was “Chile Nachrichten” (“Chile News”) and served as a means of information and communication for people interested and involved with the Chilean political situation. In order to archive the flood of incoming information material in fall of 1974 people from the Chile-Komitee founded the non-profit association FDCL. Since its founding LN and FDCL are closely linked in terms of ideas, human resources and working space.
Due to the enormous demand for information concerning the political developments also concerning the other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean summer of 1977 the Chile-Nachrichten were renamed to “Lateinamerika Nachrichten” (“Latin America News”). In these first years the journal reached a monthly circulation of up to 8000 copies. The FDCL with its archive in turn grew fastly to become one of Western Germany’s most important Latin America solidarity-projects.
In the seventies and eighties LN and FDCL have organized series of events concerning the most different topics and have issued special editions and book projects, e.g. “Football and Torture – Argentina World Cup ‘78” or with respect to the nuclear deals of West-Germany with Brazil and Argentina, women in Nicaragua, the relations between West-Germany and Nicaragua, democracy in Costa Rica, the change in Nicaragua, unions in Chile and many other topics. A complete overview can be found here. The event series, like the Latin America Days organized between 1980 and 1991 or the counter-campaign against the 500-year celebrations in the “Columbus-Year” 1992 attracted lots of people from far beyond Berlin. During the first years a central reference point of the activities of LN and FDCL was the struggle against Latin American military dictatorships. The revolutary movements in Central America and the outbreak of the debt crisis in Latin America also became important moments of discussion and preoccupation.
Since the nineties several new topics and debates joined, like the Zapatista movement in Mexican Chiapas and social movements in Argentina; the history of feminism, the landless-movement, police violence and the situation in the jails as well as the difficult mission of human rights defense in Brazil; the detention of Pinochet 1998 and the impunity debate and issues like the situation of political prisioners in Chile; new grass-rootsprojects in Venezuela, the Argentine Cacerolazo in 2001 and occupied factories; piqueteros in Argentina and the water war in Cochabamba (Bolivia); the fight against megaprojects and the fight for land; grass-roots projects and cooperatives; human rights violations in the Amazonas region. The Plan Colombia and social conflicts around natural resources, bio-piracy and the neoliberal advance in the entire continent in the context of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), regarding the EU-MERCOSUR free-trade negotiations or the WTO; the conflicts with respect to patents and intellectual property in the framework of TRIPS, the development agenda or the (non-) access to knowledge in the WIPO; a critical analysis of German development cooperation in the water sector and the discussion on free trade and industrial development; the critique of value chain approaches and of liberalization negotiations; the antagonism of the World Economic Forum in Davos and the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre; the European Social Forum and trans-continentally linked alternatives; the newspaper and journal archive of the seventies and the freely accessible online archive with historical treasures. Besides political and economic issues we also focus intensively on the cultural Latin America: literature, movies and movie-festivals, music – all this has become an inherent part of LN- articles and FDCL activities.
An overview of our current topics and projects can be found on the FDCL project page.
LN and FDCL: ¡presente!
LN and FDCL have stood their ground until today in an environment difficult to tackle for self-organized low-budget projects. LN reaches numerous subscriptors in all parts of the world with its critical coverage concerning Latin America. The FDCL is an important actor in the Latin America-related solidarity and development-policy scene with its educational-, awareness-raising- and lobby work and its broad archive. As the conditions of injustice, human rights violations and repression, which led to the founding of LN and FDCL persist, so does our challenge. Today the reigning economic model still excludes a big part of the population from wealth and cultural and social participation. Even under democratically elected governments severe human rights violations are a daily practice.
But just like in the past today many people get involved to change these conditions. LN and FDCL pursue the objective to analize and criticize the existing structures – here and abroad. We want to be part of the struggle for a different world and be a forum for critical voices from Latin America and the Caribbean, whose voices otherwise do not have much space in public.
In the Mehringhof
Phone: (+49) 030-694 61 00
Fax:(+49) 030-692 65 90 (the joint Fax-N° of LN and FDCL)