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UCR Conference Will Look at Democracy in Latin America

UCR Conference Will Look at Democracy in Latin America

(February 12, 1999)

Scholars who study Latin America, once a bastion of military dictatorships, will gather at Riverside’s Mission Inn Saturday, Feb. 20, for a public forum called, "Soldiers and Democracy in Latin America," sponsored by three research centers at the University of California, Riverside.

Sessions throughout the day focus on the beliefs and actions of politicians and soldiers and the history of civilian control over the armed forces.

"Latin American democracies have reached a crossroads," said David Pion-Berlin, professor of Political Science at UCR and the event organizer. Since the early 1980s, he said, many Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Ecuador, have set the foundations for democratic rule.

This conference will look at whether those elected governments can continue, whether human rights will be protected, and whether the military leaders will continue to submit to civilian control and allow democracy to survive, he said.

The event is sponsored the UCR Center for Ideas and Society, The Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and the UCR Latin American Studies Program.

Pion-Berlin said he wants members of the community to join the academics arriving from University of Miami, Vanderbilt University, Stanford University, the California Institute of Technology and other campuses, because it will create a more lively exchange of ideas.

The conference is free, but registration is strongly encouraged. A reception is planned at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19 for conference participants. Information is available via email:, or via telephone: (909) 787-7248.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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