sexta-feira, março 10, 2006


Ainda sobre o evento da Flórida e para encerrar esse assunto: os participantes enviaram uma carta para a Secretária de Estado Condoleezza Rice que está a seguir, pedindo esclarecimentos sobre o veto à entrada da Senadora Leonilda Zurita, da Bolívia, nos EUA para participar de diversos debates, inclusive o nosso na Universidade da Flórida.

PO Box 115530
Gainesville, FL 32611-5530
February 28, 2006 Phone (352) 392-0375
Fax (352) 392-7682
Department of State
3005 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20520-0002

Dear Secretary Rice:

RE: Revocation of Bolivian Senator Leonida Zurita’s US Travel Visa

Senator Leonida Zurita, a well known leader of the Bolivian rural women’s movement, was to have been one of the keynote speakers at the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies annual conference on “Alternative Visions of Development: The Rural Social Movements in Latin America,” February 23-25, 2006. Conference participants were dismayed that Senator Zurita’s ten-year visa was revoked without explanation or advisement when she tried to check in at the airport in Santa Cruz, Bolivia en route to Miami.

Senator Zurita has traveled extensively throughout the US on four previous occasions on this same visa, most recently to Harvard University in 2003. On this trip, besides attending this conference, she was to lecture at several other US universities and give featured presentations to non-governmental organizations, community groups and the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

As scholars and human rights activists, the conference participants were also very concerned with other recent visa denials to Latin America citizens by the US government. These actions appear to be an attempt to intimidate those involved with the new democratic processes permeating the region and have the perverse effect of restricting the free exchange of ideas in the United States.

The conference participants demand an explanation of the US Department of State’s decision to revoke Senator Zurita’s visa. We expect the US government to honor her pending request for a new US visa expeditiously so that she might be allowed the liberty to travel to the US as soon as possible.

Please keep me informed of Senator Zurita’s visa process until its successful resolution.

Carmen Diana Deere
Director, Center for Latin American Studies

On behalf of the participants at the University of Florida’s Conference on “Alternative Visions of Development: Rural Social Movements in Latin America,” February 23-25, 2006.

Cc: President Evo Morales; members of US Congress

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