In Latin America, specifically in Curitiba, Brazil, the LGBTI community gathered in the First Regional Meeting of the Gay Latino Community, which took place from 18 to 20 December. This event brought together leaders from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, United States, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay; with the purpose of finding ways to guarantee the respect of human rights of lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersexual people of this region. It also aimed at being more efficient to respond to hiv and to other topics related to sexual diversity and human rights.
This encounter was very important because it established the creation of the Gay Latino Network, which shares a vision of a Latin America that respects, protects, and celebrates the life of gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM); and whose purpose is to integrate new collaborators, decision makers and community leaders.
In this meeting, one of the topics that were discussed was the actions that are being taken to address hiv from different experiences and positions. For example, Javier Arellano from UNAIDS, presented “The Progress and The Setbacks In Regard to Human Rights of Gay Men, Bisexuals and Other Latino MSM”. Another example came from Geneva via Skype when Ruben Mayorga, Senior Governance Advisor of UNAIDS, talked about his experience in the governance of gay organizations of the civil society. In addition, Mr. Mayorga presented the NGO delegation to the UNAIDS PCB, as a model of governance and hiv. Also from Geneva, Jose Antonio Izazola presented the work in progress of the scale of the homophobic climate in the world, the economic cost of homophobia, and the necessary resources for the investment in gay men and other MSM regarding hiv.
The Gay Latino Network comes up to respond to the oppression and alienation that this community goes through in Latin America, which affects the exercise of their rights. Therefore, its mission will aim to promote and defend liberty, equality and equity; the access to health care, justice and education for the full development of their personality, free of discrimination and violence to their human rights.