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Countering Militarism with Peace and Cooperation


The unprecedented rise in U.S. military spending is at odds with the newest agreements among Latin America and Caribbean nations to respectfully resolve internal and intrastate disputes through dialogue and to create a Zone of Peace in the hemisphere. Too often we are told that fortifying police and military infrastructure is in the “interests of public security,” even when empirical research indicates the opposite. U.S military technical training, technologies and weapons exports have fueled civil wars and the decades-long “war on drugs,” which the vast majority of the U.S. public and Latin American and Caribbean governments have long believed to be a failure. Security assistance to governments engaged in brutal repression of legitimate dissent violates the sovereign rights of citizens who are engaged in a struggle to advance human life in community and in harmony with the biosphere. Rather than continuing to invest in a failed strategy of “security cooperation” and deterrance, new models of regional cooperation have arisen via the ballot box from majority demands. This panel evaluates the contradictions between U.S. backed military escalation and Latin American and Caribbean and programmatic regional cooperation aimed at establishing a ‘Zone of Peace’ as it is articulated in the 2014 Declaration of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)


Claudia De La Cruz (Moderator)

Claudia is the Co-Executive Director of The People’s Forum. She was born in the South Bronx to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. She is a popular educator, community organizer and theologian. For over 20 years, she has been committed to movement building and has actively participated in collective grassroots spaces, particularly in the communities of Washington Heights and The South Bronx.

Francesca Emanuele, MA 

Francesca Emanuele is a Peruvian analyst and researcher and regular contributor to the online newspapers Wayka and Noticias Ser. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Anthropology at American University, focusing on international organizations, in particular the Organization of American States. Francesca is also a Senior Research Fellow at CEPR. Previously, she was the director of publications for the sexual and reproductive rights non-profit Promsex in Peru and a columnist for Peruvian dailies Diario16 and Exitosa. She has a Master’s in Public and Social Policy from the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.

Jemima Pierre, PhD

Dr. Jemima Pierre is Professor at UCLA, jointly appointed in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Anthropology. She is also a Research Associate at the inaugural Centre for the Study of Race, Gender and Class at the University of Johannesburg. Her research and teaching interests are located in the overlaps between African Studies and African Diaspora Studies and engage three broad areas: 1) race and political economy; 2) transnationalism and diaspora; and 3) the cultural politics of knowledge production. A first-generation immigrant from Haiti, Dr. Pierre has also published extensively on the impacts of ongoing U.S. imperialism in Haiti. She serves as a Co-Coordinator for the Haiti/Americas Team of the Black Alliance for Peace.

Jorge Zúñiga M, PhD

Jorge Zúñiga M. earned his doctorate in Philosophy at the Johann Wolfgang Goeth University, Frankfurt, Germany (2016). He has published a series of articles and book chapters on the theory of action, ethics, critical theory, social philosophy, biopolitics, and governmentality in Foucault. He has delivered lectures at conferences in Mexico, the U.S., Germany, Greece, Costa Rica, Chile, South Korea, Argentina, and Peru. He is Professor of Practical Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Letters at the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) where he coordinated (2017-19) post graduate seminars in "Selected Topics in Ethics" and "Selected Topics in Political Philosophy" together with Dr. Enrique Dussel. Dr. Zúñiga has also coordinated international courses on Critical Theory of Society in the Frankfurt and Latin American traditions. He is author of the book: Enrique Dussel: Essays on a philosophy of liberation (Barcelona, Herder, 2022). He has published two edited works: Discourse Ethics: Perspectives on its scope and limits (2021) and Philosophy of Liberation: Its scope in the ethical and political spheres (2013). He is also coauthor of the groundbreaking work: Politics of Liberation, V. III (Madrid, Trotta, 2022). He has led seminars on political philosophy and ethics (2022) sponsored by the MORENA party of Mexico.

Nelson Maldonado Torres, PhD

Professor Maldonado Torres is a Professor at the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Comparative Literature Program. He obtained his Ph.D. 2002 at Brown University, Religious Studies, with a Certificate for Outstanding Work in Africana Studies, distinction Phi Beta Kappa. He is also co-editor of Latin@s in the World-System: Decolonization Struggles in the 21st Century U.S. Empire, and guest editor of two special issues entitled “Thinking through the Decolonial Turn: Post-continental Interventions in Theory, Philosophy, and Critique” in the journal Transmodernity. 



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