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Looking directly into the lens of the camera, Ricardo Lagos condemned Augusto Pinochet, the dictator of Chile, in a cool impassioned speech on live national television during a time when the word ‘dictator’ was censored. Earlier in Chile people who spoke out against Pinochet were imprisoned, murdered and exiled – or in some cases exiled then murdered. Through relentless organizing, campaigning and planning, Ricardo Lagos helped Chileans overthrow Pinochet peaceful and democratically. A term afterwards, he served as President of Chile from 2000 to 2006.

A few weeks ago Professor Shaiken, Chair of the Center for Latin American Studies, hosted former President Lagos when he visited UC Berkeley.

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IMG_20120928_142318Some classes in Berkeley enroll everybody and their mothers. So on the first day of lecture you walk in and see every one of the seats filled in the enormous lecture hall, and in the aisles are the trusty GSIs ensuring that everyone takes turns breathing. So, how do you not fall asleep in such a big class? Or turn to Facebook? Or be enamored by all the attractive people?

Answer: By getting your Shakira on.

In the class, the Southern Border — a course on US-Mexico relations — movies, songs and pictures are worked into the lecture. One day we turned off the lights and listened to a song by American badass Liam  Neeson. Another day we watched the Presidential Campaign ads from  Mexico — pure comedy, like ours. On another we saw photos of the professors of the course, Harley Shaiken and Beatriz Manz advising Nancy Pelosi and Vicente Fox. Still, these things are super interesting, but how can such a crowded course possibly be cozy?

Answer: Cine Encore.

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Robert Reich
Robert Reich

Don’t miss out! Robert Reich and former president of Chile Ricardo Lagos will be speaking at Boalt Law School’s Booth Auditorium tomorrow at 12:30pm. The event, held by the Center for Latin American Studies, is called “Inequality: A Dialogue for the Americas.”

Ricardo Lagos
Ricardo Lagos

Robert Reich is a Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and former Secretary of Labor during the Clinton administration. Lagos served as president of Chile from 2000-2006 and in 2006 was awarded the Berkeley Medal by Chancellor Birgeneau — a title regarded as Berkeley’s highest honor … Ya, we know, they both sound pretty legitimate!

So, for all you students who have tried for numerous years to get into Reich’s Wealth and Poverty course — but of course, have been denied by the wait list — this is a great alternative to see him in action!