Rits.lac: Civil society, a step towards regional integration
TOULOUSE, FRANCE, 05 June 2006
Latin America is undergoing a historic process of regional integration. New (and not so new) governments are growing closer into an area of weighty political influence at the global level. In the meantime, what is going on with civil society? The joint working experiences between social movements from different Latin American countries are rich and have a long common history. The synergy is far from running dry: regional integration initiatives are on the rise and being consolidated.
Rits.lac, a new project from Brazilian APC member, RITS, is following this exact tendency. According to its promoters, “the objective is to form a network of Latin American entities dedicated to strengthening civil society and promoting collaborative ties between the participating entities”.
The production of original content, events, monitoring activities and training activities for the APC Annual Report 2005">strategic useof Source: APC">ICT are some of the responsibilities network members assume. To date, Rits.lac counts on the active presence of organisations from Argentina (Nodo Tau), Bolivia (the CRIS Bolivia Campaign), Chile (Aldea Communications), Colombia (Colnodo), Ecuador (Nuevared), Paraguay (Radio FM Trinidad), Peru, (Alfa Redi and Cepes), Uruguay (National Association of NGOs) and Venezuela (EsLaRed Foundation).
The production of information from the perspective of civil society is one of the axes of the project. An electronic publication, “Social Mosaic – information selection from the vantage point of Latin American civil society”, will be launched in June. In a recent interview, Beatriz Bissio, content coordinator of Rits.lac, spoke about the journalistic challenges of the project. She emphasised “the wealth of information and the capacity for analysis that results from being - from the very beginning - the product of a network of "What is civil society?", initial working definition adopted by the Centre for Civil Society at the London School of Economics">civil society organisationswith different approaches to social work”.
“We aspire to become a reference for those who seek quality information on Latin America. If we achieve this, we can be proud. And I’m sure it’s something we are going to attain”, she concluded.
The project is taking its first steps and the network’s organisations met the 24th and 25th of April in Rio de Janeiro to define priorities. There is nothing like being face to face to get to know each other better and share expectations, or to meet again, as is the case of APC members that are participating in this initiative (Nodo Tau, Cepes,