Symposium on Reproductive Rights in Latin America


Leonel Briozzo, MD (Uruguay) is the deputy minister of Health of Uruguay and founder of Iniciativas Sanitarias, an organization of health professionals who specialize in sexual and reproductive health, which he led from 2001 to 2010. Briozzo also served as president of the Fourth Latin American and First Uruguayan Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Congresses. In 2008, the National Academy of Medicine awarded him the National Grand Prize of Medicine.

Oscar Cabrera (Venezuela) is the executive director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and a visiting professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center. Cabrera has international experience in the health law field, having worked on projects with the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. In recent years, he has published several papers focusing on reproductive rights, including the politics of reproductive rights in Uruguay.

Julián Cruzalta (Mexico) is a noted member of the pro-choice movement within the Catholic Church. He is a chaplain for Catholics for the Right to Decide, the Latin America partner of Catholics for Choice. Cruzalta has participated in conferences around the world where he speaks about the perceived need for Latin American countries to change their understanding of the role of the state with respect to sexual and reproductive rights issues.

Denise Dresser (Mexico) is a political science professor at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and columnist for the Mexican periodical Reforma. Dresser has written extensively on Mexican politics and US-Mexico relations. She received the National Journalism Prize in May 2010 for her article “Carta Abierta a Carlos Slim,” published in Proceso magazine. Her two volume work, Screams and Whispers, tells the personal stories of a diverse array of Mexican women.

Morena Herrera (El Salvador) is president of Agrupación Ciudadana por la despenalización del aborto terapéutico, ético y eugenésico, Colectiva Feminista (Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Therapeutic, Ethical and Eugenic Abortion, Feminist Collective). In 1990, she founded Las Dignas, a feminist nongovernmental organization that provides legal, educational, and emotional support to local women in need.

Vlado Mirosevic Verdugo (Chile) is a national deputy in the Congress of Chile and current president of the Liberal Party, a position he has held since 2010. Before his election to Congress in 2014, Mirosevic was director of the digital newspaper El Morrocotudo from 2006 to 2007. As a student leader, he led the Arica and Parinacota Secondary School Students Federation from 2003 to 2004. He supports current efforts in the Chilean Congress to decriminalize abortion in certain cases.

Nancy Northup (United States) is president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. Ms. Northup joined the Center in 2003 with a rich mix of experience as a constitutional litigator, federal prosecutor, and women’s rights advocate, and a reputation for intelligence, passion, and creativity. Before joining the Center, she was the founding director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. From 1989 to 1996, Ms. Northup served as a prosecutor and Deputy Chief of Appeals in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Macarena Saez (Chile) is a fellow in the International Legal Studies Program and teaches at Washington College of Law in the areas of family law, comparative law, and international human rights. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Network of Latin American Scholars on Gender, Sexuality, and Legal Education (ALAS) and a member of Libertades Públicas, a civil liberties organization. Saez was previously a faculty member at the University of Chile Law School.

Michael Shifter (United States) is president of the Inter-American Dialogue and adjunct professor of Latin American politics at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Shifter previously served as the organization’s vice president for policy, and managed the Dialogue’s programs on democratic governance and the Andean region. Before joining the Dialogue, Shifter directed the Latin American and Caribbean program at the National Endowment for Democracy and the Ford Foundation’s governance and human rights program in the Andean region and the Southern Cone. Prior to that, he served as a representative at the InterAmerican Foundation for the Brazil program.

Lilian Sepulveda (Chile) has served as director of the Global Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights since 2012. Prior to assuming her current role, she held the position of legal fellow and deputy director. Sepulveda has directly litigated two landmark cases and coordinated overall litigation for the Center’s Latin American and Caribbean regional team. At the Center, she has trained more than 50 fellowship attorneys and legal interns.

Jocelyn Viterna (United States) is an associate professor of Sociology at Harvard University, a position she has held since 2007. Previously, Viterna was an assistant professor at Tulane University, where she taught courses in Sociology and Latin American Studies. Viterna’s research focuses on the evolving state-civil society relationship in countries undergoing political transitions. Subjects in her recent publications include democratization and women’s legislative representation in developing countries, gender and class in Latin America, and women’s mobilization during the Salvadoran Civil War.