OTTAWA, June 1, 2012 /CNW/ - The former president of Chile, Ricardo Lagos, will be at Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) June 5 to discuss how social media is changing the nature of state-society relations in Latin America. Mr Lagos will describe how Latin America's emerging middle class and the advent of social media are redefining how democracy is conceptualized and exercised.
When: Tuesday, June 5, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: IDRC, 150 Kent Street (Corner of Albert), 8th floor
|People thought Mr. Lagos was a marked man after he denounced the Pinochet dictatorship on Chilean national television in 1988. Famously — and courageously — he wagged his finger during the telecast and accused Pinochet of dishonesty and went on to criticize him as a powermonger responsible for "years of torture, murder, and human rights violations." Chileans still remember the "Lagos finger." Mr. Lagos went on to play a key role in Chile's democratic and economic revival, eventually serving as president from 2000 to 2006.|
During the Pinochet dictatorship, IDRC funded the Corporación de Investigaciones Económicas para Latinoamérica (CIEPLAN), where Mr. Lagos was an economist. At a time when Chilean intellectuals were being targeted by the regime, IDRC funding to CIEPLAN made it difficult for the regime to dispose of these economists. "What this support represents for Chile", says Lagos, "is how it is possible to keep ideas alive."
A lawyer with a doctorate in economics, he founded the Party for Democracy in 1987 and later served in the governments of Patricia Alwen and Eduardo Frey. In 2000, Mr. Lagos was elected President of Chile for a six-year term. On leaving office, Mr. Lagos founded the Democracy and Development Foundation.
A key part of Canada's aid program, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) supports research in developing countries to promote growth and development. IDRC also encourages sharing this knowledge with policymakers, other researchers, and communities around the world. The result is innovative, lasting local solutions that aim to bring choice and change to those who need it most.
SOURCE International Development Research Centre