A big part of running any event is getting the right people in the room — and this presents a challenge to think tanks around the world. One group that consistently excels at this, however, is the Madrid-based Fundación Internacional para la Libertad (FIL), which works to remove barriers through the promotion of freedom, democracy, and rule of law throughout Latin America. Its 2018 series of public forums in Chile, Argentina, and Spain not only attracted hundreds of attendees but also a handful of high-profile speakers such as:
- Argentine President Mauricio Macri
- Chilean President Sebastián Piñera
- Colombian President Iván Duque
- Former President of Bolivia Jorge Tuto Quiroga
- Candidates for President (Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador, Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou of Uruguay, Albert Rivera of Spain)
- Former mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma
FIL’s most recent forum, held in Madrid earlier this month, featured Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, president of FIL, Marta Lucía Ramírez, current vice president of Colombia, Cristián Larroulet, minister of the general secretariat of the presidency between 2010 and 2014 of the government of President Sebastián Piñera and former executive director of Libertad y Desarollo (Chile), and Gerardo Bongiovanni, president of Fundación Libertad (Argentina), among others.
Earlier this year in May FIL held an event in Chile featuring Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and in which Vargas Llosa was distinguished with the Pablo Neruda Order of Artistic and Cultural Merit, granted annually to national and international figures who have promoted the cultural heritage of Chile. Another forum was held in Argentina in April.
Associated with the most recent event in Madrid was a private lunch held with the recently elected President of Colombia, Iván Duque, to present reports and ideas that help democracy and freedom in the region.
Some noteworthy accomplishments of FIL’s public and private forums were discussing and committing to concrete measures for Venezuelan migrants. Working closely with the governments of Argentina, Chile, and Spain; FIL helped raise concern for people who flee oppressive systems and has been able to streamline specific residence permits for refugees.
These events are just the latest examples of FIL advocating for a more democratic and freer continent.
FIL received an Atlas Network grant in support of this project.