The 7th Regional Conference of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex International Association for Latin America and the Caribbean (ILGALAC), to be held in Guatemala City (14th-19th November), will focus on discussing and sharing information on the current state of our region so as to design joint strategies for responding to the needs of LGBTI people.
Our continent and our region are undergoing a turbulent period in which the advance of ultraconservative groups is jeopardizing secular states, welfare policies, social rights and women’s and LGBTI rights. After a period of widespread progress when we saw the adoption of progressive laws and policies and the legal recognition of our community –or the abrogation of those norms that were used to criminalize our identities and practices–, we are now confronted with an alarming national and international stage. The proliferation of anti-LGBTI groups, the rise of political and religious fundamentalisms, the growing persecution against LGBTI people and humans rights advocates, the increase in hate crimes and the assumption of power by several conservative governments, impinging adversely on the region, calls for a clear strategy geared towards repelling their onslaught on our community while securing the fulfillment of human rights.
This 7th Regional Conference will be held for the first time in Central America. This is not without reason: the worsening persecution of human rights defenders and LGBTI people, forced migrations, the unleashing of violence and the growth of religious fundamentalism are some of the difficulties this subregion is affected by.
Today Guatemala welcomes us to join forces in search of an answer to this plight. We thus call upon all the member organizations of ILGALAC to think together new strategies attuned to the regional and global challenges posed by the 21st Century.