Latin America Bureau is a UK Registered Charity (No: 1113039) and, as Latin America (Research and Action) Limited, a Company limited by guarantee (No: 01488712). LAB is an ever-expanding network of journalists, activists, translators, writers, editors and thinkers.
Volunteers & Translators
LAB sources material in Spanish, Portuguese and French, as well as English. We have a panel of translators who have transcribed and translated hundreds of interviews and testimonies for LAB’s books and webinars, as well as articles for LAB’s website. LAB’s work would not be possible without its dedicated and talented team of volunteers. See more about getting involved here.
LAB’s staff consists of a Managing Editor (Rebecca Wilson), Promotional and Editorial Manager (Emily Gregg) and Publishing Assistant (Poppy Purvis).
Emily Gregg is LAB’s Promotional and Editorial Manager, as well as a LAB correspondent and author. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in International History and a MSc in International Relations from LSE. She lived in Arica, Chile, until returning to the UK because of the pandemic. Emily wrote The Student Revolution chapter in LAB’s book Voices of Latin America (2019) and is currently writing a new digital chapter on regional responses to Covid-19, developing the Covid updates she has been researching and writing since the pandemic broke out. As part of her work promoting Voices, Emily organised a series of Voices webinars in 2021.
Rebecca Wilson is LAB’s Managing Editor. She commissions and edits articles for the website, organises volunteer activities, assists on LAB projects and helps with fundraising. During her degree at University of Bristol, Rebecca worked at El Tiempo national broadsheet in Colombia, where she wrote a blog and covered the Peace Process, justice marches, Nobel Prize ceremony and the 2016 US elections. She also worked with a documentary production company. Rebecca has written about Latin American politics and culture for LAB, Sounds and Colours, The White Review and BristoLatino – where she was Editor-in-Chief – and she regularly writes about travel, film and music. Rebecca also volunteers with FLAWA (the Festival of Latin American Women in Arts).
Poppy Purvis is LAB’s Kickstart Publishing Assistant. She works on fundraising for LAB, social media and online promotions, and website publishing. A Modern Languages graduate from the University of Bristol, Poppy was Awarded the Caroline Williams Prize for the best undergraduate performance in Latin American Studies. Poppy grew up in Cuba and currently works part-time as a Fundraising & Communications Intern at Children Change Colombia, alongside her role at LAB.
Mike Gatehouse, Sue Branford, Tom Gatehouse, Nick Caistor, Louise Morris, Ali Rocha, Emily Gregg, Rebecca Wilson, Karoline Pelikan (Films Editor), Francesca Brown (Book Reviews Editor), Kinga Harasim (LMN Blog), Matty Rose (Agência Pública Blog).
Mike Gatehouse lived in Chile during the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende. After the military coup in 1973 he returned to the UK and worked for Chile Solidarity Campaign and later El Salvador Committee for Human Rights and Nicaragua Health Fund. He is co-author of LAB books Soft Drink, Hard Labour – Guatemalan Workers Take On Coca-Cola and In the Mountains of Morazán – Portrait of a Returned Refugee Community in El Salvador. Since 2010 he has been a member of the LAB Editorial Team and publishes articles on LAB’s website. He was a member of the team that published Voices of Latin America – Social Movements and the New Activism in January 2019, and helps commission new books for LAB.
Karoline Pelikan is a German-Peruvian documentary filmmaker and LAB’s Head of Film Content. Her production company, Pelikan Pictures, creates films focusing on identity, gender violence and LGBTQI+ rights which have been screened at international film festivals. In 2018, Karoline founded social arts project EmpoderArte, which creates safe spaces for women across Peru and uses audiovisual tools to tell creative stories that focus on regional issues. The project won support from the Peruvian Ministry of Culture in 2020. She teaches similar film workshops for Latin American women in the UK focusing on bicultural identity, racism and gender stereotypes. Karoline is the founder of Cine Latino, an organisation which promotes the work of independent Latin American filmmakers in the UK. In collaboration with independent cinemas, academic institutions, and in partnership with other organisations such as LAB, Karoline’s main goal is to shed light on socio-political issues in the region that are creatively told through innovative Latin American films.
Sue Branford began her career as a journalist by working in Brazil in the 1970s as correspondent for The Financial Times, The Economist and The Observer. On returning to the UK, she worked for the BBC World Service and since then she has returned frequently to Brazil on reporting trips for the Times, the Guardian and Mongabay. She specialises in environmental reporting, particularly on the Amazon. Sue has published five books, including The Last Frontier – Fighting over Land in the Amazon and Cutting the Wire – the Story of the Landless Movement in Brazil, which was awarded the Vladimir Herzog human rights prize. She is currently involved in a research project in the Amazon and is a volunteer editor at LAB.
Tom Gatehouse is a writer and translator who has lived in Argentina, Spain and Brazil. He holds an MPhil in Latin American Studies from the University of Cambridge. He has written a blog and articles for LAB and Red Pepper and his translations have appeared in Folha de São Paulo, Agência Pública and Tales and Trails, Lisbon, a recent collection of short stories and other writings. He was the Editor of LAB’s book Voices of Latin America – Social Movements and the New Activism, published in January 2019, for which he wrote the introduction and the Chapter on Mining and Communities. He is currently writing LAB’s upcoming publication The Heart of Our Earth: Community Resistance to Mining in Latin America. He lives in London.
Council of Management
Nick Caistor (Chair), Alistair Clark (Treasurer), David Lehmann (Company Secretary), Grace Livingstone, Fiona Watson, Cathy McIlwaine, Marilyn Thomson, Andrei Gómez-Suarez, Teresa Guanique, Ulises Moreno-Tabarez, Clare Tawney, Ivette Hernández, Elva Narcia.
(Also Trustees:) Marcela López Levy, Shafik Meghji, Linda Newson, David Treece, Louise Morris, Ainhoa Montoya, Julia Buxton, George Gelber, Henrique Tavares-Furtado, Patrick Wilcken.
Marcela López Levy
Marcela López Levy is an Argentinian researcher and writer who has worked with social justice organisations in the UK and Latin America for the past two decades. She has analysed politics in Latin America and carried out research into the history and politics of welfare in Argentina. She is currently integrating her training in psychology with social theory, looking at the importance of the imagination in social movements and struggles. Her most recent book is Argentina under the Kirchners: The legacy of left populism (2017). Marcela was Editor at the Latin America Bureau between 1997 and 2004, shaping the research and publishing programme; she also established LAB’s web presence in 1998. She has a Masters in Social Anthropology (Goldsmiths College) and holds a doctorate in political sociology from the University of London (Institute for the Americas). Her doctoral research was on the politics of social policy creation in Argentina and the expansion of social protection after 2003. She is the author of We are Millions: neo-liberalism and new forms of political action in Argentina (2004) and Bolivia Profile (2002).
Alistair Clark was active in Latin American solidarity campaigning in the early 1980s. On his first visit to Brazil in ’84, he was privileged to participate in the massive cross-party Diretas Já demonstration in São Paulo that opposed the military’s attempt to impose Paulo Maluf as President. After 1985, he lived in Campinas SP for 10 years, earning a PhD in automation from Unicamp and working in manufacturing and consultancy. He then followed a UK academic career in mathematical modelling, collaborating on research with public universities in upstate São Paulo. Alistair has known LAB since 1980 when he worked for Returned Volunteer Action on the top floor of the old Cambridge Terrace NGO building, separated by a thin partition from LAB researchers next door. For LAB, he has transcribed and translated interviews, reviewed books, and written on how Brazil’s landless movement (MST) has adapted to the coronavirus outbreak. Now retired, he looks forward to working more with LAB as its Treasurer.
Nick Caistor lived in Argentina in the 1970s, and on his return to Britain became involved with human rights work and with LAB. He edited the English version of Nunca Mas, the report on the disappeared in Argentina, and with LAB has published Special Briefs on Argentina and Chile, and Peru: Picking up the Pieces, which examines the country’s return to democracy after Fujimori. He has been a member of the board of the Argentinian Human Rights Committee, the Chile Human Rights Committee, and the Peru Support Group. He worked as a BBC Latin American analyst for 14 years, and has published biographies of Octavio Paz (Reaktion Books); Che Guevara (Macmillan), and Fidel Castro (Reaktion Books), as well as books on Mexico City and Buenos Aires for Signal Books. He is the author of LAB’s new publication Mexico Inside Out.
David Treece is Camoens Professor of Portuguese in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at King’s College London, where he directed the Centre for the Study of Brazilian Culture and Society from 1996 to 2010. He is the author of Exiles, Allies, Rebels: Brazil’s Indianist Movement, Indigenist Politics, and the Imperial Nation-State (Greenwood), the co-author of The Gathering of Voices: the twentieth-century poetry of Latin America (Verso, 1992), and has been co-editor of the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies and Portuguese Studies journal. Between 1984 and 1987 David worked on indigenous land rights issues for the NGO Survival International. From the early 1990s he worked on modern Brazilian poetry and fiction and their translation. Since 2000 his work has concentrated on Brazilian popular music, and the culture and politics of race and Afro-Brazilian identity. His book Brazilian Jive: From Samba to Bossa and Rap (Reaktion) brings together these most recent research interests. David sings with the Brazilian vocal group Nossa Voz.
Cathy McIlwaine is Professor of Development Geography in the Department of Geography, King’s College London. Her research focuses on gender and development issues in the global South, and on transnational migration in London with a specific focus on the Latin American community from the perspective of livelihoods, citizenship and gender-based violence. She is also increasingly working on the role of the arts in research on marginality. She is currently working on a project on Violence Against Women and Girls among Brazilian migrants in London and Rio de Janeiro (funded by ESRC) and another on the experiences of migrant women and VAWG in London, both with the Latin American Women’s Rights Service. She has published eleven books including Dores que Libertam: Falas de Mulheres das Favelas sa Mare, no Rio de Janeiro sobre Violencias (Appris Editora) and Cities, Slums and Gender in the Global South (Routledge), and over 40 journal papers. She is a trustee at the charity, Latin Elephant and an advisor for the Latin American Women’s Rights Service. Websites: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/cathy-mcilwaine
David Lehmann (Company Secretary) is a social scientist who has worked all his life on and in Latin America, writing on subjects such as agricultural development, religion and multiculturalism. He has worked in Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and Brazil and has accumulated a wide-ranging knowledge of peoples, histories and ideas over several decades. He travels to the region at least once every year and maintains a wide range of active contacts. David has also taught for several decades at the University of Cambridge and has held visiting positions at universities in Ecuador, Brazil, France, Spain and Israel. David has been active in movements for the defence of human rights, especially in Chile. David’s main works on Latin America are Democracy and Development in Latin America: Economics, politics and religion in the post war period, and Struggle for the Spirit: popular culture and religious transformation in Brazil and Latin America. In 2007 he began to work on multiculturalism and affirmative action policies in Brazil, Mexico and Peru. His latest project is about the building of a new Temple of Solomon in São Paulo by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. He posts information about his work at: www.davidlehmann.org/adlehman
Shafik Meghji is a travel writer, journalist and editor based in south London. After graduating from the University of Warwick with a degree in politics and international studies, he won the Scott Trust Bursary to study a postgraduate diploma in newspaper journalism at City University, London. Shafik subsequently worked as a news and sports reporter for the Evening Standard and wrote for newspapers such as the Guardian and the Independent. A former resident of Buenos Aires, he has co-authored more than 20 guidebooks, including the Rough Guides to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica and Ecuador, as well as the Buenos Aires Essential Guide app. His travel writing has been published in several anthologies, and he writes regularly for newspapers, magazines and websites around the world, including the South China Morning Post. Shafik is an editorial consultant for Amnesty International UK, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. He blogs at www.unmappedroutes.com and tweets @ShafikMeghji.
Louise Morris is a journalist, audio and TV producer. She specialises in women’s rights and the intersection between art and politics. Louise works primarily in radio, producing and presenting documentaries for BBC R4 and producing for NPR. She previously worked producing a daily TV magazine programme. She has written for The Wire, Delayed, Gratification, and BBC News Online, among others. For LAB’s Voices of Latin America book, she wrote the chapters, Fighting Machismo: Women on the Front Line; and Cultural Resistance. She is currently producing a podcast series for our Women Resisting Violence project in collaboration with King’s College London.
Fiona Watson is field and research director at Survival International, an international NGO which works with tribal peoples to defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures. She has been with Survival since 1990 and worked on many campaigns for indigenous peoples’ rights in Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana. In the 1980s she participated in a joint Brazilian-UK scientific project run by the Institute of Amazon Research (INPA) in Manaus and the Royal Geographical Society in London, researching into the social and environmental impacts of deforestation in the northern Amazon state of Roraima in Brazil. She has an MA in Hispanic Languages and Literature from St Andrews University, Scotland, for which she did one year’s field work, living in an Quechua indigenous community in the Peruvian Andes.
Dr Ulises Moreno-Tabarez is an interdisciplinary geographer working at the intersections of performance and urban studies. He serves as a core Editor of the peer-reviewed academic journal ‘City: Analysis of Urban Change, Theory, Action’. He holds a PhD in Human Geography and Urban Studies from the LSE. As a Postdoctoral Associate there, his current research project further develops what he calls spectral geographies, spatial politics and poetics of presence and absence concerning political-ecological and cultural lifescapes. He uses ethnographic and participatory research methods to examine how human-nature relationships are re-negotiated due to climate change and state deployments of racialised development. One of his core concerns is the historical developments of Blackness and Indigeneity as intertwined spectral subjectivities, remnants of slavery and colonialism, that indicate Afro-Indigenous wilful lifeways and creative resistance against intersecting forms of oppression.
Marilyn Thomson lived and worked in Latin America over many years, carrying out research, working with grassroots women’s organisations, universities, and international NGOs. She has been active in solidarity since the 1970s and was the co-director and a founding member of the UK Central America Women’s Network (CAWN), which was set up in 1992 and supported women’s organisations and campaigns in the region until it was forced to close in 2017. Marilyn currently works as a gender and social development consultant in London, carrying out research and evaluations, training, and capacity building. She works on issues for migrant and refugee women, violence against women and girls, women’s economic literacy and the care economy. She has written articles and developed guidelines and toolkits on a range of gender and development issues. Marilyn is currently a member of the advisory committee of the Latin American Women’s Rights Service in London and is also a trustee of Children Change Colombia, a UK charity supporting children’s projects in Colombia. She is a key member of the team working on the Women Resisting Gendered and Intersectional Violence project.
Henrique Tavares Furtado
Henrique is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of the West of England. His research investigates processes of accountability in the wake of mass atrocities, focusing on the links between the memory of political violence and the implementation of transitional/post-conflict justice. His other research interests involve political mobilisations of the language of trauma, Latin American politics, decolonial conceptualisations of violence and critiques of exceptionalism in Global politics. His work has appeared in the journals Security Dialogue, Critical Studies on Terrorism, Critical Military Studies, the edited volume Politics of Anxiety and the online magazine Open Democracy. He is a LAB Director and Trustee.
Dr Grace Livingstone
Dr Grace Livingstone is a journalist and academic specialising in Latin American affairs. She was a correspondent for The Guardian in Venezuela and has also reported for the BBC World Service, The Independent on Sunday, The Observer and New Statesman. She is a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, and teaches at the Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge. Her publications include: Inside Colombia: Drugs, Democracy and War (LAB, 2003) and America’s Backyard: Latin America and the United States from the Monroe Doctrine to the War on Drugs, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and Corporations, Social Movements and Foreign Policy: British Policy towards the Dictatorships of Argentina and Chile, 1973-82 (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan). See more about Grace at: https://grace-livingstone.com/
George Gelber works as an independent consultant, most recently focusing on food security and mining. After acquiring an MA in Latin American Government from Essex University, he taught and worked in Chile until 1973, leaving two months after the coup. In the UK he was programme officer for Latin America for Christian Aid until 1982. He then worked on human rights in Central America at CIIR (now Progressio) at a time when the region was convulsed by civil wars and covert and not so covert US intervention. After joining CAFOD in 1989, he set up the Public Policy Unit which in the 1990s worked mainly on debt, structural adjustment and trade. Campaigns on the electronics industry in Guadalajara and mining in Honduras maintained the Latin America connection.
Julia Buxton is Professor of Comparative Politics in the School of Public Policy, Central European University Budapest and Senior Research Officer at the Global Drug Policy Observatory (GDPO) at the University of Swansea. A specialist on democratisation, post conflict reconstruction, illicit economies and conflict sensitive policy and programming, she is a Latin Americanist by background, with expertise on Venezuela. Julia received her PhD on the Venezuelan political system from the London School of Economics in 1998 and subsequently published numerous scholarly and media articles on developments in the country. She served as Venezuela Studies Program director in the Centre for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University, Washington, and as an election observer and ‘accompanier’ (EU / FCO, Carter Centre, CNE) in Venezuela for elections in 1995, 1998, 2000, 2006, 2013. A political risk consultant, she contributes to Oxford Analytica reports on Venezuela, previously at the Economist Intelligence Unit, and she provides commentary for the Inter-American Dialogue publication Latin America Advisor.
Linda Newson is Director of the Institute of Latin American Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Until 2011 she was Professor of Geography at King’s College London of which she is a Fellow. Linda is author of six monographs and two edited books. Her first four monographs examined the demographic and cultural impact of Spanish colonial rule in Trinidad, Honduras, Nicaragua and Ecuador. More recently she has examined the African slave trade to Peru in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century in a book entitled From Capture to Sale (Brill). She is currently researching the history of medicine in Peru in the early colonial period. Linda is a Fellow of the British Academy and chairs its Latin American and Caribbean Panel. She also serves as the Latin American and Caribbean specialist on the international panel for Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library.
Clare Tawney recently retired from Practical Action Publishing, where she was Commissioning and Editorial Manager for 15 years. The books published ranged widely in the international development field, with a particular emphasis on books and journals to support development practitioners. Practical Action Publishing has co-published all of LAB’s titles since 2013. She loves LAB’s brand: ‘these books are wonderfully well-researched, readable and informative for the general reader; I’d always smile when a new LAB title landed in my inbox’.
Patrick Wilcken is a Brazil specialist, human rights activist and writer, who is currently working as a senior researcher at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International in London. His research interests include policy developments in the criminal justice system, indigenous rights, housing policy and Brazil’s Truth Commission. He has over a decade of field experience, conducting research in indigenous reservations, the prison system, gang-dominated favelas, urban squats, cane plantations and areas of rural conflict across Brazil. He is the author of two acclaimed non-fiction books: Empire Adrift: the Portuguese Court in Rio de Janeiro 1908-21 in Rio de Janeiro and Claude Lévi-Strauss the poet in the laboratory, published by Bloomsbury and Penguin. Patrick has also authored a substantial body of academic and non-academic articles for a range of different publications including the New Left Review, Index on Censorship , the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement.
Dan Baron Cohen, Antonia Burchard-Levine, Marilene Cardoso Ribeiro, Ali Rocha, Kinga Harassim, Malcolm Boorer, David Lehmann, Grace Livingstone, Marcela López Levy, Pablo Navarrete, Jan Rocha, Marcos Colón, Gordon Hutchison and many others…
Marilene Cardoso Ribeiro
Marilene Cardoso Ribeiro is an award-winning photographer and ecologist whose works investigate the relationship between human beings and nature concerning contemporary issues. She holds aMSc in Ecology, and Wildlife Conservation and Management awarded by the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil), and a PhD in photography awarded by the University of Brighton (UK). Ribeiro’s works focus on Brazil as a window to discuss worldwide phenomena. www.marileneribeiro.com
Ali Rocha is a multimedia journalist and human rights activist, focusing on state violence in Brazil. Born in São Paulo, she has worked closely with grassroots movements fighting police violence in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Ali has worked as a producer and correspondent in Brazil and directs the São Paulo-based production company Alfixit, which specialises in providing content and services for international broadcasters covering news stories and making documentaries in Brazil. Ali is a key contributor to the project #Brazil Matters, a social media platform for raising awareness of Brazilian issues. From politics and economy to environment and culture, Brazil Matters promotes the rights and fights of women, workers, Black, Indigenous and LGBTQI+ people in Brazil. Ali regularly writes and contributes to LAB as a journalist and speaker.
Antonia Burchard-Levine specialises in urban transportation and mobility, urban land development, housing and livelihoods, and infrastructure financing. She is particularly interested in urban social movements, issues of access to the city and its resources, and the range of processes that shape cities and their inhabitants. Antonia is currently based in Berlin and consults on international development projects as an urban development specialist.
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