Latin American Anthropologists’ Association expresses solidarity with Palestine

The XIV Mercosur Anthropology Conference’s resolution also stated that the BDS movement “constitutes an important step towards a public debate aimed at challenging hegemonic discourses worldwide in different areas of economic and social life”

August 23, 2023

An association of Latin American anthropologists recently voted to express solidarity with the people of Palestine. The XIV (Fourteenth) Mercosur Anthropology Conference held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, earlier this month passed a resolution which read, “We affirm the commitment to remember the damage caused by ethnic cleansing in the 20th century, and declare our solidarity with the Palestinian people. This is a public and academic commitment to the fight against racism. The construction of walls, checkpoints and everyday means of occupation and the subordination of autochthonous populations represents a perverse 21st century repetition of apartheid’s heinous practices.”

It highlighted that “There are countless scientific societies that have joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement started in 2005. The BDS call is broad and constitutes an important step towards a public debate aimed at challenging hegemonic discourses worldwide in different areas of economic and social life. Boycotts are counter-hegemonic instruments against regimes based on colonialism and apartheid state practices.”

BDS was started by leading members of Palestinian civil society in 2005 as a non-violent way to exert pressure on Israel to end its occupation, apartheid and oppression in the occupied Palestinian territories. It advocates for an academic, cultural, and economic boycott of the Israeli government and state-run and funded institutions by the international community until Israel ends its occupation and respects the human rights of Palestinians.

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According to reports, dozens of anthropologists from countries across Latin America attended the conference that passed the resolution. After its passing, one of its sponsors, Francirosy Campos Barbosa from the University of São Paulo, said on social media that it was a “great day for the Palestinian cause.”

A resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions had been passed by the American Anthropological Association in July with a majority of 71%.

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