Free Societies

Announcing a transformative gift to mobilize "Freedom Movement 2.0" in Latin America

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Atlas Network is thrilled to announce a $3 million three-year gift from Drake Foundation which will enable our Center for Latin America to go on offense—to demonstrate that liberalism offers a policy agenda that brings dignity, economic opportunity, social mobility and equality before the law.

The gift is enabled by Chilean business leader Nicolás Ibáñez Scott, who expanded his father’s supermarket business into a national chain, Distribución y Servicio D&S SA, which was bought by Walmart in 2009.

Ibáñez became active as a philanthropist to the liberty movement as he saw the intellectual consensus behind Chile’s multi-decade experiment in economic liberty threatened by illiberal ideas. After attending a variety of liberty movement events, he became the founding chairman of a Chilean think tank, Fundación para el Progreso, and he gave the first six-figure gift to Atlas Network’s Center for Latin America when it was launched in November 2018.

“Nicolás Ibáñez gave a shot in the arm to our Center for Latin America at its start. Now, we are humbled by the new gift from Drake Foundation that brings important responsibilities,” said Brad Lips, Atlas Network CEO. “While our movement has grown stronger over the past decade by some measures, there is no doubt we are failing to win hearts and minds in most countries, and it is time to bring more experimentation to how Atlas Network and its partners together can revive the fortunes of liberalism.”

Roberto Salinas León, executive director of Center for Latin America, commented: “For Latin Americans to flourish in the decades ahead, we need to defeat certain pernicious myths. Among them: that the region needs authoritarian ‘caudillos’ that can help the poor via socialism, and that liberalism is reducible to ‘neo-liberalism,’ which is seen as an imported ideology that provides cover for cronyism. With this new gift from Drake Foundation, we will be able to bold in showing that equality under the law is an attainable goal for Latin Americans and the ideas of liberty provide the path toward human progress and inclusive prosperity in the region.”

New plans of the Center for Latin America will be publicly unveiled at a special session within Atlas Network’s virtual Liberty Forum on November 11-12.