About Latitudes

Editors of Latitudes

Latitudes is the short name of the Latin American Research Platform, an independent site and association of researchers, academics and citizens based in Australia. Latitudes aims to debate and investigate the politics, cultures and histories of Latin America and connect with other Southern perspectives and territories. Among our collective projects are the publication of books and essays; the creation of archives; the organisation of public and academic events; and the dissemination of research about Latin America.

We have published the books The Feathers of Condor: State Terrorism, Exiles and Civilian Anticommunism in South America and 40 years are nothing: History and memory of the 1973 coups d’etat in Uruguay and Chile (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK). The latter publication compiled a selection from papers presented at the October 2013 conference 40 years are nothing, at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. We have also organised a series of academic debates in 2014 and 2016, and independent public events. We welcome contributions from people in Australia and abroad who would like to collaborate on research projects and produce collective initiatives to widen the perspectives on Latin America.

You can contact us at latitudesplatform@gmail.com or write to our individual emails: pabloleighton@gmail.com & f.lopez@UNSWalumni.com.

Fernando López & Pablo Leighton

Editors of Latitudes

He researches the concept and practices of propaganda in 20th century and current media, and specifically on the history of audiovisual culture in Chile and Latin America since the 1970s. He has taught at numerous universities in Australia, United States, Chile and Central America, and has worked as film director, screenwriter and editor in several fiction and documentary productions (see his film work here).

He co-edited with Fernando López the book 40 years are nothing: History and memory of the 1973 coups d’etat in Uruguay and Chile (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK), a selection from works presented at the October 2013 conference 40 years are nothing. He has published the essays: Archives and narratives for the coup-history of Chile (Southland Papers 2018 & Neo Journal,  Macquarie University, 2008); Televisión + estado de sitio: la perentoria doble cadena del golpe en Chile (Ediciones Escaparate, Santiago, Chile, 2012); ASIS & ASIO in Chile: transparency and double standards four decades after the coup (co-written with Florencia Melgar, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK 2015); The Celebration: violence and consent in the first anniversary of the Chilean coup (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK 2015); and Territories of Violence: State, Marginal Youth, and Public Security in Honduras – book review (Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research , 2016).

He is also editor of a digital archive of the modern politico-cultural relations between Australia and Latin America and has presented papers and research at Latitudes events in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He holds a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from Macquarie University, Sydney, and in Latin American Studies from Universidad de Santiago de Chile. He also has a Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking from Massachusetts College of Art (Boston, USA).

Fernando is a Doctor in History from the University of New South Wales and author of the book The Feathers of Condor: Transnational State Terrorism, Exiles and Civilian Anticommunism in South America (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK, 2016). The latter determines why the military regimes of Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia agreed to formally launch Operation Condor in November 1975 and, therefore, transnationalize State terrorism. He has a Bachelor of Arts and Honours in History (BA HONS HIST) from University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia.  His Honours thesis studied the origins of the Uruguayan leftist National Liberation Movement- Tupamaros (MLN-T) and its connections with the sugarcane workers’ trade union.  His areas of research focus on contemporary Latin American History and the Cold War in Latin America. He co-edited with Pablo Leighton the book 40 years are nothing: History and memory of the 1973 coups d’etat in Uruguay and Chile (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK), a selection from works presented at the October 2013 conference 40 years are nothing. Listen to his presentations for Latitudes events in 201320142015 and 2016.

Gabriel Andrés Arévalo (PhD candidate University of the Basque Country/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea) is a researcher and political activist with a Law degree from the Free University and a Sociology degree from the National University of Colombia. He received a Master's degree in International Decentralized Cooperation and International Studies at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Within its intellectual and spiritual interests are galactic nomadism, transnational struggles, insurgent ontologies and the intercultural processes seeking to build a new civilization beyond the West. Currently, he is undertaking PhD studies at the UPV/EHU with a Predoctoral Fellowship funded by the Basque Government. He is also a member of the Intercultural Association BerriakMundu in Bilbao. See his video presentation in Latitudes here. 

Dr Luis Angosto-Ferrández (lecturer, Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies & Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney) has a background in anthropology and political science. He has extensive fieldwork experience in Latin America and Spain, and has lived, worked, and researched in Venezuela for nearly a decade. Among his recent publications are: Democracy, Revolution, and Geopolitics in Latin America: Venezuela and the International Politics of Discontent (Routledge, 2014) & Everlasting Countdowns: Race, Ethnicity and National Censuses in Latin American States (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012). 

Dr Jeff Browitt is Senior lecturer in Latin American Studies in the School of International Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, where he coordinates the Mexico and Colombia Majors. He has published on cultural theory, Central American literature and culture, Latin American popular culture, and Colombian political economy. His major book publications include: Contemporary Cultural Theory (Routledge 2002, with Andrew Milner); The Space of Culture. Critical readings in Hispanic Studies (U. Delaware Press 2004, with Stewart King); Practising Theory: Pierre Bourdieu and the Field of Cultural Production (U. Delaware Press 2004, with B. Nelson); and Rubén Darío: Cosmopolita Arraigado (INHC 2010, with Werner Mackenbach). He is also the translator of 2 books with Nidia Castrillón: Carlos Monsiváis’s A New Catechism for Recalcitrant Indians (Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2007) and Martin Nakata’s Disciplinar a los salvajes, violentar las disciplinas (Abya Yala Editores, 2014, with N. Castrillón). Listen to his presentation in Latitudes here. 

Mario Cortés Santander is a constitutionalist lawyer and mediator of Universidad Libre de Bogotá & member of the Latin American Social Forum Sydney. He  graduated from the Faculty of Law and Political Science at the Universidad Libre de Bogotá. He has conducted Reconciliation Studies, Constitutional Law, Education and training curriculum and Administration in Colombia and Australia. Mario is linked to academic, administrative and development in higher education in Colombia and vocational level in Australia. He also has experience in socio-legal research and university of Political Institutions, Legal Argument and Hermeneutics and is passionate about education and communication. Listen to his presentation in Latitudes here. 

Professor Renato Cristi (Department of Philosophy, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada) is the author of many books such as: Carl Schmitt and Authoritarian Liberalism; El pensamiento conservador en Chile, awarded the Premio Municipal de Literatura, literary prize bestowed each year to the best book of its kind published in Chile; El pensamiento político de Jaime Guzmán, the “best intellectual biography that has been done on Guzmán” (journal Estudios Públicos); and La República en Chile, praised by Chilean historian Alfredo Jocelyn-Holt. Listen to his presentation in Latitudes here.

Gerardo Díaz-Henríquez is an active member of the FMLN's Sydney Committee in Australia. Ex-member of the Salvadorean National Resistance; the Military/Political Organization; and the FMLN during the 1982-1992 war. Ex-Secretary General of the National Federation of Salvadorean Workers (FENASTRAS), and of the Union of the Salvadorean Hospital Polyclinic Enterprise. Listen to his presentation in Latitudes here.

Federico Fuentes is Assistant Editor of Links - Journal of Socialist Renewal. He is a writer for Green Left Weekly, edits the blog Bolivia Rising and is part of the Venezuelanalysis.com editorial collective. From 2007 to 2010 Fuentes reported for Green Left Weekly from Caracas, Venezuela. In Caracas he was based at the Fundación Centro Internacional Miranda as a resident researcher investigating twenty-first century political instruments and popular participation in public management. Fuentes has co-authored three books with Marta Harnecker on the new left in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Paraguay and co-authored, with Michael Fox and Roger Burbach, "Latin America's Turbulent Transitions: The Future of Twenty-First Century Socialism". He was a contributing author to "Latin America's Radical Left", edited by Steve Ellner. His articles have appeared on TeleSUR, ZNet, Counterpunch, MRZine, Venezuelanalysis.com, Aporrea, Rebelión, America XXI, Comuna, and other publications and websites in both Spanish and English.

Dr James Levy is an Honorary Fellow at UNSW School of Humanities and Languages. Dr Levy’s academic career has strong connections with Latin American studies and the South American community in Sydney. He studied issues concerning taxation in Argentina (1890-1960), the Socialist Party in Granada and, together with Dr Peter Ross, he conducted comparative studies on human capital investments in Argentina and Australia. Listen to his presentation in Latitudes here.

Dr Vek Lewis (Senior Lecturer in Latin American Studies, University of Sydney) authored Crossing Sex and Gender in Latin America (New York: Palgrave, 2010) and has published in several academic journals ranging from Sexualities (UK) to PORTAL Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies. Other publications include book chapters and articles already out or soon to appear: ‘Thinking Figurations Otherwise: Reframing Dominant Knowledges on Sex/Gender Variance in Latin America’ in Transgender Studies Reader Vol 2, ‘Forging “Moral Geographies”: Law, Sexual Minorities and Internal Tensions in Northern Mexico Border Towns’ in Trystan Cotten (ed). Transgender Migrations: Bodies, Borders and the Politics of Transition (Routledge, 2011), ‘Volviendo visible lo invisible: hacia un marco conceptual de las migraciones internas trans en México’ Revista Cuicuilco 54, and 'Nuevos ambientes, historias compartidas? Sexuality, cultural and sexual identity and practices among gay identified Latin American migrants in Sydney' in 2014 in Journal of Intercultural Studies. His areas of interest include: internal and international migration in Mexico and Australia, critical race studies, sexuality and bioethics.

Florencia Melgar is an investigative journalist and independent researcher who has worked at numerous media outlets in Uruguay and Australia for more than 10 years.  She produced “No Toquen Nada”, the highest rating current affairs radio show in Uruguay. She also worked in print media and television for six years. She wrote a number of works, including the co-authored book “Las palabras que llegaron’ in 2009 and “Sabotaje a la verdad” in 2006, listed as one of the referred books in the Encyclopaedia of Transitional Justice, edited by Lavinia Stan and Nadya Nedelsky, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. She has worked for SBS Radio and Online, ABC Television, Instituto Cervantes and the website Latinhub.com.au, that she directs and that was finalist as best use of online in NSW Premier´s multicultural Media Awards 2014. Melgar was awarded the best investigative story of the year in NSW multicultural media for the multimedia report The Other 9/11 that explores the participation of Australia in the Chilean coup 40 years ago. In 2011, she was nominated Latin Woman of the Year in Australia for the contribution of Latinhub to the Latin American community in Australia.  In 2012, she was awarded “Young Talent Award 2012 in Journalism” by the Australian Hispanic Women's Business Network. She holds a degree in Journalism from Uruguay and finished the course “Graduate in Management and Production of Film, Video and TV” in University of Leon, Spain. In Uruguay, she taught investigative journalism at tertiary level for two years. She is a PHD candidate in RMIT University in Melbourne and the title of her thesis is: “The exemption of Australia´s intelligence agencies from the FOI Act and its impact in journalism and democracy”.

Dr Fernanda Peñaloza is Senior Lecturer in Latin American Studies at the University of Sydney. She has published widely on the interconnections of aesthetics and ethnography, within the traditions brought to bear by both British imperialist narratives of travel and exploration, and the Argentine colonisation project in Patagonia. She is the editor (with Claudio Canaparo and Jason Wilson) of Patagonia: Myths and Realities, Peter Lang: 2010.  She is currently working on a single authored book to be published by the University of Wales Press provisionally entitled Best Enemies in Patagonia: Argentine-Chilean Relations and Cultural Production. Listen to her presentation in Latitudes here.

Dr Iván Pincheira is a sociologist from the Universidad de Concepción and has a Master and a Doctorate in Latin American Studies from Universidad de Chile and Universidad de Santiago de Chile respectively. He has published books and articles relating to social movements, youth, biopolitics, governmentality and the sociology of emotions. View and listen to his video and presentation in Latitudes here.

Dr Peter Ross is an Honorary Fellow at UNSW School of Humanities and Languages. Dr Ross’s academic profile includes a BA Sydney, DipEd WBTC, and a PhD from UNSW. Dr Ross has studied matters associated to Economic Development and Growth, Historical Studies and Latin American History. His principal area of research, together with Dr James Levy, is a comparative study of investment in human development in Argentina and Australia between 1890 and 1960. Subsidiary research interests include changes in the composition and internal dynamics of families in Latin America, contemporary political developments in Latin America, and environmental effects of development in Amazonia. Listen to his presentation in Latitudes here.

Paula Sánchez is a nurse specialized on intensive care, a clinical educator and associate lecturer in nursing for 14 years.  She is currently working in Applied Nursing Research and just started her PhD candidacy at Western University. She is a member of NSW Nurses and Midwifes Association, Neighbourhood Watch coordinator, and member of the Latin American Social Forum and other human rights organizations. With her family she founded the Latin American folklore group Karualpa (faraway land or powerful land in Quechua language). Listen to her presentation in Latitudes here.

Professor Steve J. Stern (Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) has written, among others, the books Reckoning with Pinochet: The Memory Question in Democratic Chile, 1989-2006; Battling for Hearts and Minds: Memory Struggles in Pinochet's Chile, 1973-1988; Remembering Pinochet's Chile: On the Eve of London 1998, and Shining and Other Paths: War and Society in Peru, 1980-1995, all published by Duke University Press. These publications have received the Bolton-Johnson and Recent History and Memory Best Books prizes by the Latin American Studies Association (USA). Professor Stern is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Listen to his interview with Latitudes here.

Pedro Ivo Carneiro Teixeirense is a researcher and PhD Candidate in Social History at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany. Pedro Teixerense has a Bachelor with Honours in History and a Masters degree. His field of research covers democracy, social control and children´s rights, and prevention of violence and human rights. He has worked as a teacher, researcher and legislative consultant for the Federal Senate; has been a member of the Special Commission of History of the Senate, and worked as Associate Consultant for the Plan of Public Policies in Brazil. Pedro was also a Research Analyst offering technical advice on issues related to human rights, transitional justice, memory and truth, with the aim of providing support for the National Truth Commission (NTC). He organized data analysis that enabled the Commission to clarify facts and circumstances surrounding cases of serious human rights violations, and conducted teams of researchers in identifying files and other sources of information on the death and the forced disappearance in Brazil and abroad, during the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964-1985). He was also involved in organizing database for the Council of Children´s Rights and the Guardianship Council in the process of building democracy for children and adolescents in Brazil. Pedro has presented for Latitudes events in 2013 and 2014. You can also see his 2016 presentation in Germany titled “Is there a room for History? Clashes between opposing narratives and the profile of the victims of the military dictatorship in the National Truth Commission’s final report”.

Ana María Tomaino is an independent researcher and has taught in Spanish and Latin American Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney. She holds a degree in BA/BEd and a MA in Applied Linguistics from UNSW. She is currently working on a research project entitled The Impact of State Terror on National Identity: A Study of Post-dictatorship Cinema in Uruguay.

Liana Mercedes Torres (PhD candidate in Latin American Studies, University of Sydney) graduated from Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia) with a bachelor degree in Modern Languages Teaching in 2004. She taught in the English for Specific Purposes section in the same university and also worked as an EAP trainer at Universidad Nacional de Colombia-Palmira in 2006. In 2007, she was awarded the Macquarie University International Scholarship and moved to Sydney to undertake a Masters degree in Applied Linguistics (TESOL). In late 2011, she was awarded the University of Sydney International Scholarship to start a PhD in the Spanish and Latin American Department with Dr Vek Lewis as my main supervisor. She published "A Pedagogical Experience with ESP Units at Secondary Level. Analysis of Results” and her research interests are language teaching and assessment, sociolinguistics, critical discourse analysis, migration studies and media representations. Listen to her presentation in Latitudes here.

Professor Miguel Vatter has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research, and has held academic positions in political science and philosophy departments in North America and Chile, as well as a visiting professorship in Germany. He works in the areas of political theory and contemporary philosophy. His current areas of research and publication are Machiavelli, Kant, republicanism, biopolitics, and political theology. He is co-founder and director of a biopolitics research network, www.biopolitica.org. Listen to his presentation in Latitudes here.