From marked man to president of Chile: Former President Ricardo Lagos speaks on democratic development in Latin America

    OTTAWA, Nov. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - People thought Ricardo Lagos was a marked
man after he denounced the Pinochet dictatorship on Chilean national
television in 1988. Famously - and courageously - he wagged his finger during
the telecast and accused Pinochet of dishonesty and went on to criticize him
as a powermonger responsible for "years of torture, murder, and human rights
violations." Chileans still remember the "Lagos finger." Mr. Lagos went on to
play a key role in Chile's democratic and economic revival, eventually serving
as president for from 2000 to 2006.
    As part of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Speaker
Series, His Excellency Ricardo Lagos will be in Ottawa on Monday, December 3,
to address the challenges of democratic development in Latin America. The
public lecture will be held at IDRC's new head office located at 150 Kent
Street (at Albert), from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the 8th floor auditorium.
French and English simultaneous interpretation will be available.
    During the 1980s, Mr. Lagos was as an outspoken critic of the
dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet and played a pivotal role in
restoring democracy to Chile. A lawyer with a doctorate in economics, he
founded the Party for Democracy in 1987 and later served in the governments of
Patricia Alwen and Eduardo Frey. In 2000, Mr. Lagos was elected President of
Chile for a six-year term.
    On leaving office in 2006, Mr. Lagos founded the Democracy and
Development Foundation. He is also president of the Madrid Club, a forum of
former presidents and heads of government committed to the promotion of
democracy. In May 2007, he was appointed as a Special Envoy on Climate Change
by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
    The IDRC Speaker Series features provocative presentations on issues of
social justice and international development from speakers with worldwide
reputations. The 2007-2008 series focuses on building democracy in developing
countries. Previous lecturers have included Nobel Prize laureate Amartya Sen,
and former British diplomat Rory Stewart, as well as a panel of journalists
from the developing world. Upcoming headliners include Kenyan anti-corruption
campaigner John Githongo and IDRC President Maureen O'Neil.
    The event is open to the media. Spaces are limited and journalists are
encouraged to register by calling Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé at 613-236-6163,
ext. 2343.
    For more information on the IDRC Speaker Series, visit

    About IDRC

    Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is one of the
world's leading institutions in the generation and application of new
knowledge to meet the challenges of international development. For almost
40 years, IDRC has worked in close collaboration with researchers from the
developing world to build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous

For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé, (613) 236-6163, ext.
2343, (613) 816-7620,

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