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Event: Big Latin America Debate II: The Kingdom and its Neighbours

Co-Organisers: Impunity Watch, Both ENDS, Free Press Unlimited, CNV International, Hivos, Vice Versa and Nicaragua Platform NIMD

Speaker: Thijs Berman, Dr. Eva van Roekel, Dr. Fabio de Castro, Joël Vrijhoff, Pamela Kalkman, Marlies Stappers, Edwin Koopman, Marit Maij, Prof. Barbara Hogenboom, Achraf Bouali, Bram van Ojik, Sadet Karabulut
Date: Monday 14 October 2019 from 15.00 - 17.30 hours
Place: Lange Poten 10, 2511 CL, Den Haag
Spoken Language: Dutch

Click here for reservation.

Impunity Watch along with other organisations are hosting a second debate on Latin America. The conversation is about the relationship between The Netherlands and Latin America.


This conversation comes at a critical time when the Dutch foreign policy seems to be less engaged in Latin America. Civil society organisations in Latin America are increasingly concerned about this policy gap and are keen on keeping their region atop the Dutch political and human rights agenda.


In the past years, The Netherlands provided considerable political support for strengthening the rule of law in Latin America as a prerequisite for development, human rights, and trade. Guatemala presents a particularly good example. Over the past decades, The Netherlands supported the peace process, judicial independence, human rights, the fight against impunity and corruption in which the now-ousted International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (known as CICIG by its Spanish acronym) played an indispensable role.



Latin America is unfortunately sliding back to undesired times of oppression and human rights violations. The absence of rule-of-law can jeopardise the historical and still flourishing trade relations between The Netherlands and Latin America. Moreover, when corruption and fraud persist they can also pose a risk on trade relations and Dutch investments and development projects. 


Maintaining The Netherlands’ years-long investment in Latin America is now crucial more than ever, given the fast deterioration of the human rights situation in the region in countries like Guatemala, among others. Hence, the Dutch foreign policy needs to double efforts to make sure that its investment in the progress of the rule-of-law is not completely overhauled and the actors of change such as victims, civil society organisations, and independent judges and prosecutors are not left unprotected. It is our collective responsibility, as international organisations and government, to uphold our solidarity with them. These actors of change and victims are bravely fighting to maintain the progress made despite all obstacles which benefits the broader Dutch trade agenda.


We invite you to join this vital conversation. You can register here. You can also share the event with your friends and colleagues via Facebook. Kindly note that the event will be in Dutch.


Speakers, among others:

-  Thijs Berman, Director of the Netherlands Institute for Multi-Party Democracy

-  Dr. Eva van Roekel, Assistant Professor Mobility, Beliefs and Belonging: Confronting Global Inequalities and Insecurities, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

-  Dr. Fabio de Castro, Assistant professor Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (Cedla)

-  Joël Vrijhoff, Manager at Vattenfall (energy suppliers of electricity and heat)

-  Pamela Kalkman, Investigative Journalist

-  Marlies Stappers, Executive Director of Impunity Watch

-  Edwin Koopman, Latin America Correspondent

-  Marit Maij, Director CNV International

-  Prof. Barbara Hogenboom, Director of the Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (Cedla)

-  Achraf Bouali, Member of Parliament D66

-  Bram van Ojik, Member of Parliament GroenLinks

-  Sadet Karabulut, Member of Parliament Socialist Party


Read more about the event: English and Dutch.