LASA statement on sexual harassment and Jorge Domínguez

March 6, 2018

The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) recognizes that sexual and gender-based harassment and violence are contrary to its core principles and therefore has zero tolerance for unwelcome sexual advances or conduct of a sexual nature that is intimidating, hostile, or offensive.

LASA is a diverse organization currently of 16,000 members in up to 90 countries that has been historically committed to equal opportunity, respect for human rights, and the promotion of environments free of discrimination and all forms of coercion and abuse of power that impede the academic freedom, security, or well-being of any member of its community and their associated institutions.

Over the past four days we have heard about old and new serious sexual harassment complaints against Jorge Domínguez, a professor at Harvard University, who was President of our association in 1982 – 1983. Such behavior has no place in our organization. If harassment occurs within an organization, there must be a reliable and effective channel to make complaints and the authorities must apply public sanctions to the transgressors. We therefore urge the authorities of Harvard University to investigate the new complaints and to act accordingly.

Most importantly, we extend our solidarity to all who are survivors of Jorge Dominguez’s unacceptable conduct and its apparent long-term tolerance by Harvard University.

Given the circumstances, the LASA Executive Council considers this as an ideal opportunity to recommit LASA as an association to stand up against all kinds of abuse of power and impunity, both in the political and academic spheres, and throughout all the Americas. And LASA emphasizes its policy of zero tolerance of sexual harassment and impunity. The association is taking a series of measures, including creating a task force, that will be shortly announced to the membership and the broader public to ensure that in the future individuals who engage in such reprehensible behavior will have no place in leadership positions at LASA.

LASA Executive Council

About the Latin American Studies Association (LASA)

The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) is the largest professional Association in the world for individuals and institutions engaged in the study of Latin America. With over 12,000 members, over 65 percent of whom reside outside the United States, LASA is the one association that brings together experts on Latin America from all disciplines and diverse occupational endeavors, across the globe. LASA's mission is to foster intellectual discussion, research, and teaching on Latin America, the Caribbean, and its people throughout the Americas, promote the interests of its diverse membership, and encourage civic engagement through network building and public debate.

If you wish to interview a LASA Executive Council member, you can contact the LASA communications office at (412) 648-7929 or lasa@pitt.edu.