Colciencias negó apoyo a conferencia de Clacso en Colombia

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Sobre COLCIENCIAS y la VII Conferencia de CLACSO en Medellín

Carta Pública

Río de Janeiro, 31 de octubre de 2015

Estimados/as amigos, amigas y colegas,

Hace unos días, envié una carta a una funcionaria de COLCIENCIAS, manifestando el malestar de CLACSO por el trato recibido durante los últimos dos años que ha durado la organización que la VII Conferencia Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Ciencias Sociales, que comenzará en pocas horas en la ciudad de Medellín.

La comunicación no fue de ninguna forma una “carta pública”, aunque fue enviada con copia a diversos colegas colombianos vinculados de manera directa o indirecta con este organismo y con la organización de nuestro evento. Entre tanto, el mensaje comenzó a circular ampliamente y fue divulgada como un pronunciamiento formal de CLACSO, siendo reproducida en diversos sitios web y distribuida por las redes sociales.

No esperaba que la carta tomara semejante dimensión, aunque me alegra mucho el interés y la solidaridad que ha despertado. Sin embargo, me veo obligado a hacer ahora sí una carta pública para poder aclarar algunos asuntos que, en aquella comunicación, quizás no quedaron debidamente explicitados.

Los hechos han sido los siguientes:

  1. Hace más de dos años, CLACSO, junto con diversos colegas e instituciones colombianas, comenzó a organizar la VII Conferencia de Medellín, prevista para los días 9 a 13 de noviembre de 2015. La decisión de realizar el evento y la XXV Asamblea General de CLACSOen Colombia, fue decidida unánimemente en México, donde se realizó la VI Conferencia y la XXIV Asamblea, en septiembre de 2012.
  2. CLACSO es una organización internacional que hoy reúne más de 500 instituciones académicas en más de 30 países, especialmente, América Latina y el Caribe, Estados Unidos, Europa, Medio Oriente y Australia. Fue creada por iniciativa de la UNESCOhace ya 50 años y se dedica a la promoción de la investigación en ciencias sociales y humanidades; a la defensa y el estímulo del acceso abierto y democrático a los conocimientos producidos por las universidades y centros de investigación; a la movilidad de estudiantes, docentes e investigadores en una red de posgrados que ya cuenta con más de 700 maestrías y doctorados de excelencia; a la publicación de obras de referencia; a la cooperación académica Sur-Sur; y, a la conformación de Grupos de Trabajo temáticos que sobre los más diversos asuntos, problemas y desafíos sociales, políticos, económicos, educativos, medioambientales y culturales de nuestra región. CLACSO dispone de una de las Bibliotecas Virtuales más consultadas del mundo (con más de un millón de descargas mensuales); además de desarrollar un sistema regional de evaluación universitaria; publicar más de 100 obras, revistas y libros por año; realizar más de 120 seminarios y reuniones académicas por semestre; y, coordinar las acciones de sus 48 Grupos de Trabajo.
  3. CLACSO no es una red académica convencional. A lo largo de sus cinco décadas de historia ha cumplido un papel social, político y cultural de gran relevancia en América Latina. Ex presidentes, centenas de ministros y ministras, representantes parlamentarios y del servicio exterior de los gobiernos democráticos de la región han participado de la gestión del Consejo o de sus actividades regulares. En los años setenta, CLACSO protegió a decenas de intelectuales, cuyas vidas peligraban como consecuencia de la acción represiva de las dictaduras militares en el Cono Sur. Desde su creación, CLACSO ha mantenido una activa relación con los gobiernos democráticos del continente, aportando ideas, proyectos, conocimientos y propuestas que permiten erradicar la pobreza, garantizar los derechos humanos, promover la participación y la movilización ciudadana, así como la protección del medioambiente, la reducción de los altísimos índices de violencia y desigualdad, avanzar en la reforma democrática del Estado y la ampliación de los espacios públicos, afirmando los derechos históricamente negados a las grandes mayorías.
  4. Como no podría ser de otra manera, cuando iniciamos la organización de la VII Conferencia, y antes mismo de la constitución de los Comités de Organización Nacional y Local, que coordinarían el evento, realizamos una visita a COLCIENCIAS, anunciando que la Conferencia sería realizada y que teníamos un inmenso interés en que la misma fuera un espacio de divulgación y promoción de las activas y productivas ciencias sociales colombianas. Contamos el ejemplo de la VI Conferencia y del apoyo, no sólo económico, recibido por parte del CONACYT, institución homóloga a COLCIENCIAS en México. Desde aquel momento, CLACSO y el CONACYT comparten diversas actividades y promueve, en toda la región, la excelente oferta de posgrado de las universidades mexicanas. Siempre que se realizó (en Cuba, Brasil,  Bolivia o México), la Conferencia recibió un amplio apoyo de los gobiernos nacionales, particularmente de sus Ministerios de Educación y de sus agencias de promoción de la investigación científica. En nuestra primera visita a COLCIENCIAS fuimos atendidos muy simpáticamente y no sólo se nos expresó el deseo de apoyar ampliamente el evento, sino también de la posibilidad de disponer recursos financieros para solventar su realización. Salimos del primer encuentro con gran entusiasmo.
  5. Desde entonces, y durante más de dos años, intentamos infructuosamente avanzar en algún tipo de acuerdo, sin el menor éxito. Más allá de las ocasionales muestras de interés, COLCIENCIAS no sólo no aportó ninguna idea, propuesta o iniciativa a la VII Conferencia, sino tampoco, un único centavo para financiarla.
  6. Las Conferencias CLACSO se realizan cada tres años y constituyen uno de los eventos académicos más importantes del mundo. En esta oportunidad, contamos con más de 25 mil inscriptos que participarán de las más de 300 actividades, entre conferencias magistrales, coloquios, paneles y talleres. La Conferencia será sede de un evento de enorme importancia internacional, promovido por la UNESCO, además de la ya mencionada XXV Asamblea General de CLACSO. Contará con figuras de la talla de los ex presidentes Luiz Inácio Lula da SilvaJosé MujicaErnesto Samper, de Álvaro García Linera, vicepresidente de Bolivia, además de 600 figuras académicas de renombre internacional. Tendremos en Medellín conferencistas y panelistas de 30 países. Será el evento académico más grande del mundo este año: http://www.clacso.org.ar/conferencia2015/
  7. El tema central de la Conferencia son los procesos de paz y la consolidación de la democracia en América Latina. Por ser muy “politizado” o por simple desinterés, COLCIENCIAS consideró que la VII Conferencia no debía merecer la menor atención y las autoridades de CLACSO, el menor respeto. En rigor, nunca llegaron a decirnos de forma abierta que el evento les parecía irrelevante. Nos lo hicieron saber con elocuentes gestos de indiferencia.
  8. Colombia hoy posee68 instituciones académicas asociadas a CLACSO, entre ellas, las principales universidades públicas y privadas del país. Todas ellas son las organizadoras de la VII Conferencia. COLCIENCIAS no dejó sólo de apoyar un evento de CLACSO. Dejó de apoyar el principal evento de las más reconocidas instituciones de ciencias sociales y humanidades del país.
  9. Mal que nos pese, la actitud de COLCIENCIAS se repitió en el Ministerio de Educación, donde en diversas oportunidades tratamos de concertar una cita con las más altas autoridades, también sin éxito. En una oportunidad, viajé desde Buenos Aires para reunirme con la responsable de cooperación y relaciones internacionales del Ministerio. Aunque ella estaba en el edificio y conversó durante largos minutos por teléfono delante de mí, se retiró sin siquiera saludarme. Fui informado que ella tenía una cita más importante y que sería atendido por una asistente, quien me explicó que al Ministerio de Educación iba mucha gente a pedir dinero y patrocinio para sus eventos, pero que no era esa la política de la institución. Le dije que no quería ni “patrocinio” ni “dinero”, sino, simplemente, compartir, al menos en un primer momento, que un evento de estas características se realizaría en Colombia y que me parecía por demás relevante que el Ministerio estuviera informado y, si lo consideraba apropiado, pudiera involucrarse. Informado estuvo. Involucrarse, nunca se involucró. Hace unas semanas envié una carta personal a la Sra. Ministra de Educación, volviendo a invitarla y enfatizando que sería para nosotros un honor que pudiera dar una conferencia en el evento y participar en todo aquello que considerara necesario. Nunca recibí respuesta. Tampoco sé si recibió la carta… Así de informales y desatentas parecen ser las cosas en dos organismos públicos de un país que tiene, entre sus más destacados valores, el cuidado por la atención y la gentileza de la gente.
  10. Vale destacar que la reprochable actitud de indiferencia, por parte de COLCIENCIAS y del Ministerio de Educación, hacia una organización internacional como la nuestra, se contrapone al apoyo y al compromiso que hemos recibido de todas las instituciones que componen la red de CLACSO en el país y, particularmente, de los gobiernos de las ciudades de Medellín, Bogotá y del Departamento de Antioquia. También, debemos destacar que la desatención de estos organismos nacionales, en nada nos lleva a arrepentirnos de haber realizado esta Conferencia en Colombia. Estamos aquí para mostrar la vitalidad, compromiso y calidad del pensamiento social latinoamericano y mundial, apoyando a este gran y querido país en la impostergable construcción de un futuro de paz y justicia.

    Han sido más de dos años de arduo e intenso trabajo para llegar a la VII Conferencia de Medellín. Personalmente, no tengo más que palabras de agradecimiento con las instituciones académicas colombianas y con la inmensa cantidad de amigos y amigas que he cosechado en todo el país durante estos años. Llego a la VII Conferencia sintiéndome parte de este bello, contradictorio y amado país. Lamento enormemente que COLCIENCIAS y el Ministerio de Educación no participen de este evento que, desde que comenzó a nacer, quiso tenerlos como principales protagonistas.

    Ellos se lo pierden. Nosotros, lo disfrutaremos.

    Un abrazo fraternal y nos vemos en pocos días en Medellín.

Pablo Gentili

CLACSO / Secretario Ejecutivo

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