The Norwegian Solidarity Comitee for Latin America
The Latin America Solidarity Organisation in Norway (Latin-Amerikagruppene i Norge (LAG)) is a solidarity organisation that works to diseminate information on the social, economic and political situation in Latin America. LAG supports the social movements struggle against military oppression, abuse of human rights, discrimination and market liberalism, and for the establishment of a real and particapatory democracy. LAG endeavours to have a special focus on the situation for women and has its own committee for womens affairs.
A central theme for LAG is popular control over natural resources. Since the colonial period the value generated by strategic natural resources has been confiscated by the developed nations and their companies, and cultivable land has been very unevenly distributed. The local population has little benefit from the wealth of the continents resources; around half the population in many latinamerican countries live below the poverty line, and the region as a whole scores lowest internationaly with regard to inequality. The last few years the social movements in Latin America have managed to acheive many of their goals with the help of politicaly leftwing leaning governments. Especialy in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela, where important reforms have been initiated in the areas of poverty reduction and democratisation. LAG works to publicise such examples of democratic development.
Norway, through its bilateral and international agreements, development aid, and not least, its business activity, influences development in Latin America. LAG will work to ensure that Norwegian activity contributes in a positive way to the continents development in line with the wishes of Latin Americas social movements, and work to expose and counteract activity that is contrary to their struggle. The people of Latin America have the same right to choose their own paths of devolpment as Norway in its time did.
LAG places emphasis on solidarity and a knowledge based, balanced disemination of information. We endevour therefore to cooperate with latinamerican organisations and associations to help make their struggles known in Norway. Each year we send two solidarity brigades to different countries in Latin America. Each brigade is composed of 10 young Norwegians who work with national and local organisations in their respetive countries, and are comitted to work on projects and information dissemination, also on their return to Norway.
The Latin America Solidarity Organisation is based on voulantary work organised in local chapters and special interest groups throughout the country. We produce books and articles, give out a membership magazine, arrange meetings, seminars and debates and organise public demonstrations. We also arrange meetings with norwegian authorities and lobby political representatives.